Fourth of July Trivia Game: Fun with the Founding Fathers

July Fourth Facts

Happy birthday, America! You’re turning 246 years old on this Fourth of July, but you don’t look a day over 150.

On this special day, here’s a fun little quiz about our country’s parents, the Founding Fathers, and their fight to someday give us a day off from work in early July. Check out these famous paintings of major figures and moments in the fight for independence and the struggle to build a nation, and see how well you know what was really going on. And then go salute America with some hot dogs and apple pie.

 1. Enemies No More?

The treaty-signing to end the war is depicted up top in Benjamin West’s famously unfinished, and unimaginatively titled, American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Agreement with Great Britain. Go take a look, we’ll wait.

Back? Great! Pictured are John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin—all members of the American peace delegation.

Q: In what city did the signing of the titular peace agreement take place? And why was the painting never finished?

The city was Paris. The painting isn’t finished because Richard Oswald, the British representative at the signing, refused to sit for the painting. And so it remained unfinished as “a powerful symbol of the division between Great Britain and its former American colonies.”

2. Rollin’ on the River

Watson Adventures Fourth of July Quiz

One of the most recognizable images of General George and the Revolutionary War, this scene depicts the Continental Army famously sneaking across the Delaware River.

Q: What city was Washington heading for?

On December 25th, 1776, Washington crossed the Delaware from the Pennsylvania side to surprise Hessian troops in Trenton, New Jersey.

3. Franklin, My Dear…

Watson Adventures Fourth of July Quiz

You know Benjamin Franklin, inventor, Founder, all-around smartypants. This Duplessis portrait is indicative of his classic look, a “rustic,” unassuming vibe that won over the French during his time there as an American ambassador.

Q: What is missing from this portrait that Franklin, as a very fancy gentleman, would definitely have worn much of the time?

Franklin is pictured without a wig, even though they were quite fashionable at the time.

4. Independence, Heck Yeah!

Watson Adventures Fourth of July Quiz

Representative John Randolph called Trumbull’s iconic painting Declaration of Independence a “shin-piece, for surely was there never before such a collection of legs submitted to the eyes of man.” Sick burn, John. Even worse: The event it’s depicting is commonly misunderstood.

Q: What event is not taking place in this scene?

Most people assume this scene depicts the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It does not!

Instead, it shows the five-man drafting committee presenting its work on June 28, 1776. The actual signing took place mainly on August 2.

5. Off With His…Well, Everything, Really!

Watson Adventures Fourth of July Quiz

On July 9, 1776, after hearing a reading of the Declaration of Independence, New Yorkers tore down the statue of King George III in a small park called Bowling Green. This painting, and the horse’s tail from the statue, are on display at the New-York Historical Society.

Q: During the Revolutionary War, what was the rest of the statue used to make? 

The metal of the statue was used to make ammunition with which to fight the British.

Find More Fun

Explore famous landmarks and iconic locales from sea to shining sea on in-person scavenger hunts and virtual games all over the country. Those include the Hamilton Scavenger Hunts in New York City and Philadelphia, which explore the places where Alexander Hamilton lived and worked; the Revolutionary Boston Scavenger Hunt, exploring Boston’s Freedom Trail; and the Revolutionary Philadelphia Scavenger Hunt at the Museum of the American Revolution.