A recent Marist Poll finds a surprising number of Americans struggle with the fundamental facts about the birth of our nation. Our Megan Cruz spoke to some locals to see if they know what they're celebrating this Independence Day.
NATIONWIDE -- The Fourth of July: parades, picnics, fireworks and barbecues. But do people know the history behind these celebrations?
"The 4th of July is my favorite holiday, so of course," said Albany resident Michael Presti.
"He might, I don't know about me," said Kelly Zoller of East Greenbush.
"Now you're having me doubt myself," said Troy resident Chris Glasheen.
A Marist Poll revealed some interesting findings when it comes to Americans' knowledge of their country's Independence Day.
Of the 1,000 people surveyed, only 58 percent knew the year the colonies declared their independence.
"1776?" said Kelly and Chris Landers from Latham.
"1776?" said Harry Kim from New York City.
"That would be July 4th, 1776?" said Presti. "I've been out of high school for a little while now so I don't know."
For those keeping score, 1776 is correct.
But to be honest with you, years were never easy for me, so I'm going to ask them what I think might be an easier question - from what country did we declare our independence from? Let's see if people know this one.
"England or Britain?" said Megan Shlotzhauer of Latham.
"England?" said Zoller.
"France?" said Zoller's husband Steve.
Great Britain is correct, but the Marist Poll was a bit more positive with only one in four getting this one wrong.
People we spoke to say they're discouraged by these results.
"You'd think you'd know what the 4th of July stands for," said Zoller.
"It's the fundamental foundation to our country," said Glasheen.
"It's a day off," said Paul Nolan of Greenfield Center. "That's all it is to them and they party. I mean I party too, but..."
But maybe while we party this year, we could take just a little time out for history refresher course.