Many Americans Are Clueless About July 4th


july-4It may be hard to believe, but apparently a lot of Americans don’t even know what the 4th of July is all about. A Marist poll found a lot of people are fuzzy about the reason why we celebrate Independence Day.

According to the poll, only 58 percent of Americans know the United States declared its independence in 1776. Twenty-six percent were unsure and 16 percent said another date.

The poll also found that one in four Americans don’t know from which country we declared our independence. It found that while 76 percent correctly said Great Britain, 19 percent were unsure and five percent said a different country.

Paul Giana, a teacher from New York City, calls the poll results shocking. “It’s not a focus anymore,” he said. “It’s kind of our responsibility to have a stronger sense of history and I think we do a poor job of passing that on to the next generation.”

In fact, the poll found that age is a factor when it comes to knowing the correct answers about American history. It said only 31 percent of adults younger than 30 knew that 1776 is when we declared independence.

“No one is scoring an A plus on these questions regardless of age, but when it comes to people under 30, clearly those numbers are pretty disturbing,” said Lee Miringhoff, director of the Marist poll.

That percentage does increase with older Americans with 59 percent between the ages of 30 and 44 and 75 percent between 45 and 59 knowing the answer.

The poll surveyed more than a thousand people.

{WCBS 880 AM Radio NY/ Newscenter}


  1. It was Henry Ford who said, famously, that, “History is bunk.” Americans have never, ever been good at history. After all, the whole point of the Revolution was to cast off the chains of past laws and ideologies and start anew.

    However, you do wonder just what is missing in civics education today. Perhaps a Facebook page on American history which all high school students are required to “friend?” This isn’t optional stuff – we need to know it to function as citizens.

  2. How many people know that independence was actually declared on July 2nd, and that the document was approved on July 4th?


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