New Poll Asks Americans About History Of Independence Day

Finds Only 58 Percent Know When The United States Declared Independence

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It may be hard to believe, but apparently a lot of Americans don’t even know what the 4th of July is all about. A new 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.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports: Are Many Americans Are Yankee-Doodle Dummies?

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.

GUIDE: July 4th in New York City

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.

WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola reports: Poll Shows Many People Don’t Know American History

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. To read the full July 4th Marist poll, click here.

What do you think? Sound off below in our comments section…

  • littlestar

    Rodin is Mr. censor ! Now I got it ! What’s that green highlight you put on my post ? What power, one armed Mr. censor ! And what a scared coward you must be for not letting all my posts go… so what if they were obscene, you people are all about that… Luv ya !

    • Rodin

      You wish your posts were obscene. You WISH I valued them that much. They’re just plain inane. And I don’t censor. Ii’s best to let the light shine on ignorance so others might learn learn something from it.

  • littlestar

    ..”.all men are created equal “… is a lie…. All those who believe this live a lie…yeah of course we all have the same rights, but we are not EQUAL, by nature !!!!!!

    • Rodin


      CREATED, not BORN. There’s a difference. The Founders knew it.

  • Harold Marable

    SChools are failing our children. The government has too much control. God is being taken out of the giovernment education system and about everything else. To paraphrase one of our presidents an education is great but without a knowledge of the Bible and God it does very little good.

    • Rodin

      God, the Babble? That’s the problem, NOT the solution: too much nonsense and fairy tales about “lLucy in the sky”. Too little history and science = IGNORANCE!

      Which president said that, president Marable?

      “The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy.” ~ GEORGE WASHINGTON

  • nathan

    Come at me bro! Bahaha!

  • carl shepherd

    if i can not find work,soon i can, eat and pay my rent, and buy my self cloth to

    wear.,and enjoy my life,like i want to, . . . here and now ”

    the hell, . . . . with . . .” indepencece day “.

    • Bob Fowler

      Carl, do you think an ESL class might improve the odds of you getting hired? You’re obviously distraught over the economy, and I definitely can appreciate that, but, if you cannot communicate like an intelligent adult, finding a quality job will be that much tougher.

      As for why so many are ignorant to the history of America, I’d like to offer a couple of possibilities: 1) we spend more time studying Black and Latin history in schools today than we used to, 2) people as a whole are less concerned with every facet of life that isn’t directly related to how we can get more ‘stuff’, 3) Americans are no longer willing to do the tough tasks to achieve success, which includes studying harder, striving to learn more and taking low-level entry positions.

  • carl shepherd

    more people are homeless more people are out of work,loss thri home,
    rich don pay ther face shar of taxs,ther will be more poor people,in this counth soon,if not yet.i ask independence from who and went,i short don know,

  • Rodin

    American Education…. Scary? PATHETIC!

    As of this moment this article is tied in number of comments with “Wayward Baboon Captured In Howell, Brought Back To Six Flags” at 7.


    “Ronald Reagan keft us all a little bit stupider than we were.”
    Australian writer, art historian and critic
    (b. 1938)

  • Bklyn Mom

    We’ve commercialized every holiday from Christmas to Thanksgiving to Independence Day. It’s all about shopping and food. That’s what this country has been reduced to – spending money and getting fat. And the schools are not teaching what’s important. They only teach you to pass a test that will make the school look good and get it more funds from the state. It’s very sad.

    • Rodin

      CAPITALISM RULES…and ignorance. What the Amerikkkan mob doesn’t get is that language diversity is GOOD FOR CAPITALISM, at ;east for the sales pitch.

  • TomNJ

    These are the same under 30 people who cannot read an analog clock or do math without a calculator. I have a 20 year old nephew and I am shocked how little he knows of the world before he was born. He is not stupid at all, but apparently, no one in the school system bothered to teach him these things. And I am sure his parents were too “busy” to help.

  • Lawrence

    The whole independence and “All men are created equal” nonsense from the U.S declaration in 1776 was BS anyway. It was only in someone’s favor in this country at the time if you weren’t black, a woman, poor, any other minority, etc.

    Back then, you were treated badly if you fell into any of those categories and it would be decades and (in some cases) centuries later for other groups were to get equal rights. Sorry, I’ll pass on 7/4 celebrations.

    I’m a black American, so technically I don’t take the holiday too seriously, but I do love America. :)

  • Wolf

    Parents and teachers do NOT do a very good job. That’s the bottom line. And people who migrate to this country should not only learn our history but teach it to their children. But its not only in the United States, many Mexicans and South Americans don’t know that Native indian Tribes also had those countries until the Spaniards came. Many younger Vietnamese don’t even know there was a war in their country in the 60’s and 70’s. If WE older folk do not teach our younger ones the TRUTH about the past, then the future is going to be a sad sad loss

  • mj

    knowing these kinds of things are just not important to people any more. i’m willing to bet that all the people that didn’t know the correct answers can tell you the names of ALL the finalists on american idol and dancing with the stars.. its just a sad commentary on the direction that this nation has gone .its all part of the dumbing of america . its why we are now considfered a joke to the rest of the world and rightly so

  • Geronimo

    Historians are prophets in reverse.

  • nathan

    Thats because most people are idiots. Just look at that guy who posts in CAPS all day every day on this website. He calls himself nice names like Mr Goebbels, Dr Megele Got Twins, Pike Bishop and even uses my name. He even used Hitler yesterday. He hates gay people and Jews among others. He could be easily blocked but this site is too fraidy scared to do anything about it. He’s a coward and a fool, and Ill bet he knows nothing of our great country.

    • littl;estar

      Aren’t you dieing? Could you not get on with it…

      • Rodin

        “Are you d-ie-ing?”

        1776, England, dYing!

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