Americans Still Only Vaguely Understand July 4

NEW YORK - JULY 04: A member of the public takes a photograph of the fireworks exploding over the Hudson River during the 37th annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks over the Hudson River on July 4, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images) Photo: Neilson Barnard/2010 Getty Images

Last year, on the Friday before July 4, Marist released a poll proving that America's ignorance about its own history is a stereotype grounded in truth. It showed that 26 percent of Americans didn't know which country the United States gained its independence from. This year, Marist ran the same poll and came up with basically the same depressing results. A full 24 percent of Americans still can't identify Great Britain as the country we ditched on July 4, 1776. Oh, and about 1776: Only 58 percent of Americans could identify that as the year we declared independence.

Clearly, America needs to study up on its history a bit. So this Monday, at your July 4 barbecue/party/freedom orgy, instead of just eating a lot/drinking a lot/having sex with many different partners in the name of freedom, why not set aside some time to enlighten your fellow citizens about the founding of our country? Especially if Sarah Palin and/or Michele Bachmann and/or Herman Cain happen to be there. Happy Independence Day.