What year was the Declaration of Independence signed? Spoiler alert: 1776.


People walking on the American University campus Wednesday, July 6. Photo credit Bryan Fletcher.

Even though someone may be a U.S. citizen, that doesn’t always mean they know the complete history of their country.

Some residents and visitors to Washington, D.C. had a tough time answering questions from the citizenship test given to immigrants.

When asked why we celebrate July Fourth Ricky Monroe, 55, said, “Was there a war or something?”

Monroe also did not know what year the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Spoiler alert: 1776.

In order for a foreigner to gain U.S. citizenship, he or she must show an understanding of the English language, speak in English clearly, and demonstrate knowledge of U.S. government and history. Of those who took the test in 2015, 91 percent passed.

Matt Garvey, 65, answered the practice citizenship questions like: name a war fought in the 1900s, where is the Statue of Liberty located or what ocean is on the West Coast. Others included: when was the Constitution written and how many members does the House of Representatives have.

Even though most people interviewed this week found little challenge with the test, when asked the question “what does the 4th of July celebrate” many were unsure.

Megan Kane, 59, said, “Did we sign something?”