Poll: 1776 date puzzles some Americans
Men dressed as Continental Army soldiers march to demonstrate a 'fight during revolutionary war' as they celebrate George Washington's birthday at Mount Vernon, Virginia, on February 21, 2011.
July 4th, 2011
08:40 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: 1776 date puzzles some Americans

(CNN) - A slight majority of Americans know what year the United States declared independence, according to a new national survey.

The Marist Poll released in honor of America's Independence Day, July 4, showed 58 percent of residents aware their country declared independence in 1776. Twenty-six percent were unsure and 16 percent named another date. Younger Americans, those under 30 years of age, were less likely to have the correct answer with 31 percent, compared to Americans between the ages of 45 and 59 who said 1776 75 percent of the time.

One in four Americans also didn't know from which country the United States seceded, with 76 percent correctly naming Great Britain, 19 percent unsure and 5 percent naming another country.

The survey of 1,003 adults was conducted between June 15 and June 23 via telephone and had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: July 4 • Polls
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. John Q.

    Our schools seem to be doing a bang-up job... how pathetic. Throwing more money at them obviously hasn't worked, just lined more pockets.

    July 4, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. bleak81

    @John Q. Schools have nothing to do with this. Education and learning are just not as important in our society as socializing and entertainment. If education was, then parents would be sending their children to cram-schools until 10PM like they do in Asian countries, rather than allowing them to stay up until midnight playing video games. In my social studies class, every student must memorize a series of very important dates (1776 being one of them). We drill, practice, and recite throughout the whole year. It is a slam-dunk quiz for almost every student. However, it never fails. Those students who are from homes where school is not seen as a priority won't even come close. And if you think we teachers are a bunch of fat-cats with money lining our pockets... you seriously need to get a clue and stop watching fox 24/7. I could also go on about the debate that occurring over whether or not declarative knowledge like this is even important, but something tells me that would go way over your head, so I won't.

    July 4, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. Jersey Bob

    Republican view: Independence from Denmark was a good thang.....

    July 4, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Bob

    This article and poll just proves how inadequate our American educational system is. We, in Texas, have pleanty of money for football programs in high school with coaches and athletic directors making well into the six figure salaries, building a $60 million dollar football stadiuim all the while cutting teachers and real education programs.

    July 4, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |