A Fourth of July Salute to the U.S. Founding Fathers

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Happy Fourth of July from all of us at Certification Magazine and CertMag.com. Because we’re based in the United States, our offices are closed in observance of Independence Day. Because the internet never sleeps, however, we aren’t leaving our loyal readers high and dry.

Benjamin Franklin loved to play chess.Courtesy of our friends at GoCertify, please enjoy the following patriotic quiz about select Founding Fathers of the United States:

1) At what age did George Washington take up his first professional career?

2) Which Founding Father was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 1999?

3) Which U.S. president sold more than 6,000 books from him personal collection to the Library of Congress following the library’s destruction by the British in the War of 1812?

4) Who enlisted Thomas Jefferson to write the first draft of the Declaration of Independence by telling him, “You can write 10 times better than I can”?

5) Who introduced fortysomething bachelor James Madison to his future wife, young widow Dolley Payne Todd (nearly 20 years Madison’s junior)?

6) Which British émigré to the United States and noted champion of American independence later gained honorary French citizenship and served as an elected delegate (representing the district of Pas-de-Calais in the north of France) to the National Convention during the French Revolution?

7) Which Founding Father nearly died when a musket ball severed an artery in his shoulder at the Battle of Trenton in 1776?

8) Which giant of the American Revolution was born the illegitimate son of a Scottish laird on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies?

9) Which famous signer of the Declaration of Independence finished sixth in the first U.S. presidential election in 1789, tallying just four electoral votes?

10) Name the Broadway sensation and Tony-winning musical about the Founding Fathers and their revolutionary ideals that got legions of fans snapping their fingers and humming along to American history-inspired riffs, but which does NOT feature Alexander Hamilton as a main character?



1) Washington became a surveyor in 1749 at age 17. His first official position was as surveyor of Culpeper County in Virginia.

George Washington became a surveyor at age 17.2) Benjamin Franklin. An avid chess player while serving U.S. interest abroad in both England and France, Franklin first began to study and play the game in the 1730s.

3) Thomas Jefferson. To replenish the library’s lost collection, Jefferson sold it 6,487 books for $23,950.

4) John Adams. Both men participated on the Committee of Five charged with authoring the Declaration.

5) Then-Senator Aaron Burr of New York. Dolley Madison outlived her second husband by 13 years, but did not remarry following his death.

6) Thomas Paine. Paine was imprisoned and nearly guillotined as the revolution ran its course, but survived and eventually returned to the United States.

7) James Monroe. A lieutenant in the Continental Army at the time, Monroe later became the fifth president of the United States.

8) Alexander Hamilton. Orphaned at age 11, Hamilton became a trusted clerk at an export-import firm in St. Croix while still a young teen.

9) John Hancock. In failing health by 1789, Hancock lived just four more years before dying at age 56 in 1793.

10) 1776, with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and book by Peter Stone.

Happy Fourth of July!

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CertMag Staff


Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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