The Great American History Quiz?: Americana

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9780446676847: The Great American History Quiz?: Americana
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THINK YOU KNOW YOUR AMERICANA? WITH THIS BOOK, YOU WILL!

The Great American History Quiz is the popular show on The History Channel that's also a great, entertaining way to learn about our country's history. Filled with celebrities, it tests viewers on facts from the basic to the arcane -- and sometimes both at once! Now, based on this national treasure of a quiz show, comes a book that's just as fun, challenging, and quirky. Featuring questions from the program (and new brainteasers as well), THE GREAT AMERICAN HISTORY QUIZ will have you burning those gray cells and wishing learning had been this much fun in school!

TRY THESE CONUNDRUMS ON FOR SIZE:

1. The U.S. declared its independence on July 4, 1776. True or False?

2. During WWI, Harry Houdini taught American soldiers which of the following tricks? How to (a) catch a bullet in their teeth, (b) survive underwater, or (c) escape from handcuffs.

3. Who was the first sitting (or rather traveling) president to voyage outside the continental U.S.?

The answers may not be what you think. Guess away!

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Five Questions from GAHQ: AMERICANA

1. Francis Scott Key wrote the music for "The Star Spangled Banner." True or false?

Well, that's actually false, because he wrote the words in a wonderful poem but he applied those words to an already existing melody that was actually from an old British drinking song, called "To Anacreon in Heaven."

2. Betsy Ross sewed the first official US flag. True or false?

The answer to that question is false. There's no historical proof that Betsy Ross actually sewed the first U.S. flag. This popular legend seems to have been started by her grandson almost a century after Betsy allegedly threaded her way into history.

3. We've all heard about "The shot heard 'round the world" that got the Revolutionary War going. When the British Army tried to get past a group of minutemen, an unordered shot rang out, causing a bit of a ruckus, and by the end of the melee, 8 minutemen had lost their lives.

Many consider this to be the beginning of the revolutionary war.

Where was "the shot heard round the world fired?" a) Concord, MA; b) Lexington, MA; c) Saratoga, NY; d)Trenton, NJ.

Answer: b) The shot heard 'round the world was fired in Lexington, MA. To this day, no one knows if the British or the Patriots fired that first shot.

4. Artist Emanuel Leutze created the familiar depiction of "George Washington's Crossing of the Delaware River." The question is, which way was George going? a) From Pennsylvania to New Jersey ... b) from New Jersey to Pennsylvania ... or c) from Delaware to Pennsylvania?

On Christmas night 1776, Washington sneaked across the Delaware River from Pennsylvania, for a stunning surprise attack that became known as the Battle of Trenton. Washington's victory was a huge morale booster. So the answer is a) He crossed from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. And by the way, if you answered "c" you lose history points and geography points. Because you can't get from Delaware to Pennsylvania by crossing a river.

5. Imagine facing a raging wall of water 40 feet high, moving 40 miles an hour. A wall of water so powerful it tosses a 48-ton locomotive a mile. Well, that's just what the people of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, faced during the Great Johnstown Flood. Thousands of people perished in the disaster which was triggered when a dam collapsed after heavy rains. Name the decade in which it happened. Was it a) the 1850s ... b) the 1880s ... c) the 1910s?

The Johnstown Flood occurred in 1889 so the correct answer is b) the 1880s. The dam had been built to provide a good place to fish; but when it collapsed, 2,000 people lost their lives.

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