Chiseled monuments. Stars and stripes. Amber waves of grain. They’re just a few of the iconic images that come to mind as we celebrate America’s 237th birthday. You’re probably thinking, “Funny, the Old Girl doesn’t look a day over 220.” That’s kind of you to say, but she’s been experiencing a touch of dementia in recent decades, often forgetting who she is and where she came from. Nevertheless, we love the U.S.A. and hope this birthday sparks star-spangled memories of what made her great.
Speaking of memories, we thought it might be fun—amid the traditional cookouts and fireworks—to see how well you can recall examples of patriotic entertainment. So we whipped up 20 trivia questions to help light the fuse on your Independence Day festivities (look for the answers in tomorrow’s blog). Enjoy! And God bless America!
1. Which of Heath Ledger’s early films stars Mel Gibson as a peaceful farmer driven to violence during the American Revolution?
2. Which 1990s television series featured the exploits of Zap, Siren, Nitro, Ice and Turbo?
3. With more than 15 million copies sold in the U.S. alone, which Bruce Springsteen album remains his most commercially successful?
4. What comic book superhero resurfaced in theaters in 2011, and was billed as “The First Avenger”?
6. Who wore Old Glory while performing “Firework” at last year’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC?
7. What movie about American ingenuity and perseverance in the face of astronomical odds includes the famous line, “Failure is not an option”?
8. Which country singer, despite seven No. 1 singles, is best known for his patriotic anthem “God Bless the U.S.A.”?
9. A bald eagle is just one national symbol used by which political humorist, whose late-night TV show airs on Comedy Central?
10. What 1942 film stars James Cagney as composer George M. Cohan, the man responsible for classic songs such as “Over There” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag”?
11. What singer’s Super Bowl rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” became a Top-20 pop hit in 1991?
12. Which Academy Award-winning film’s most iconic image is actor George C. Scott standing in front of an enormous American flag?
13. The nation’s loss of innocence between the idealistic 1950s and turbulent 1960s is chronicled in what 8:33 folk rock tune by Don McLean?
14. Which free, downloadable video game introduced on July 4, 2002 continues to serve as an online recruitment tool for the U.S. military?
15. What film features James Brown singing “Living in America,” a song from the soundtrack that became a Top-5 pop hit?
16. Following a roundtable discussion of patriotic movies, this week’s Official Plugged In Podcast (#209) concludes with a clip from what classic film?
17. Following the onscreen destruction of the White House, which cocky action star spent Independence Day turning back an alien invasion in 1996?
18. Who had a Top-10 single containing the lyric, “On the boats and on the planes, they’re coming to America/Never looking back again, they’re coming to America”?
19. What Steven Spielberg epic honoring U.S. soldiers’ courage under fire lost the 1998 Best Picture race to Shakespeare in Love?
20. Which U.S. city hosted the winter Olympics the year Team U.S.A. beat the Soviet Union in men’s ice hockey—a thrilling upset chronicled in the Disney film Miracle?