Tough Trivia, 4/13/21

Yesterday’s question was: Everybody remembers “When in the course of human events” and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” July 4, 1776, and John Hancock. That it was Thomas Jefferson’s wordsmithing which put the words in that document. But the Declaration of Independence wouldn’t have meant anything if it wasn’t adopted by the 13 colonies and signed by their 56 representatives. Including John Hancock in his state’s delegation, which state had the most signatories, and which state the fewest? Bonus points if you can list the number of signatories for each state.

And the answers:

  • Pennsylvania, 9 (including Benjamin Franklin).
  • Virginia, 7 (including future President Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Harrison V, who was the father of future President William Henry Harrison and the great-grandfather of future President Benjamin Harrison).
  • New Jersey, 5.
  • Massachusetts Bay, 5 (including President of Congress John Hancock, future President John Adams, and future Vice President Elbridge Gerry).
  • Connecticut, 4.
  • Maryland, 4.
  • New York, 4.
  • South Carolina, 4.
  • Delaware, 3 (including Caesar Rodney, who was depicted on Delaware’s state quarter in 1999).
  • Georgia, 3 (including Button Gwinnett, see below).
  • New Hampshire, 3 (including Josiah Bartlett, namesake for the fictional president of the United States in the television series The West Wing).
  • North Carolina, 3.
  • Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 2.

Grant_Wood_-_American_Gothic_-_Google_Art_ProjectButton Gwinnett (1735–May 19, 1777) was born in England, represented Georgia in the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence (top signature in the left-most column), and died in duel. Gwinnett was fairly obscure prior to the signing of the Declaration, and died soon thereafter, so there are only 51 known examples of his signature, making it the rarest and most sought-after (only ten of those signatures are in private hands). The rarity of his signature has become a plot point in a lot of fiction, including the 1932 film Washington Merry Go Round, the 1958 film The Last Hurrah, a 1971 episode of Mannix, a 2018 episode of Elementary, and a 1953 science fiction story called “Button, Button” by Isaac Asimov.

Today’s question is: Who were the models used by Grant Wood when he painted American Gothic?


Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog. Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. At some point, I’ll offer a prize for whoever has the most correct answers, and another for whoever participates most often (I’ll take into account people coming in after the start: regular participation starting later is just as good as regular participation starting earlier). There may also be a prize for the funniest or most amusing wrong answer. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

Financial support in the form of tips is very much appreciated:

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