GUEST VIEW: Memorial Day Quiz: Your ‘summer starts now!’

By J. Mark Powell

Memorial Day weekend marks America’s unofficial kickoff of summer. Get an early start on your vacation with this quick, fun quiz.

1. How many Americans are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend?

A. 18 million

B. 28 million

C. 38 million

D. 48 million

Answer: C. A record 38.4 million people are expected to travel by car over the holiday weekend, according to AAA — a 4 percent increase over last year. An additional 3.5 million will be flying, making it the busiest Memorial Day weekend at U.S. airports since 2005.

2. Ask Americans their favorite meat to throw on the grill this Memorial Day, and they’ll say…

A. Steak

B. Burgers

C. Chicken

D. Ribs

Answer: A. Gimme a steak! That’s the top choice of 34 percent of Americans, followed by burgers (19 percent), chicken (18 percent), and ribs (11 percent). And while your kids may love them, just 5 percent of adults picked hot dogs.

3. For many Americans, Memorial Day weekend means hitting the beach. What is the most crowded beach in America annually?

A. Palm Beach, Fla.

B. Myrtle Beach, S.C.

C. Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

D. Rockaway Beach, N.Y.

Answer: C: America has more than 95,000 miles of shoreline, and the most crowded, according to a tourism research analysis, is Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. The most beautiful beaches? TripAdvisor says they’re Hawaii’s Ka’anapali Beach and Florida’s Siesta Beach.

4. Many Americans make it a point to remember fallen members of America’s military by attending Memorial Day parades and observations. The largest Memorial Day parade this year will be held in …

A. Dallas

B. Washington

C. New York City

D. Fort Campbell, Ky.

Answer: B: The 2024 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington will be the nation’s largest, hosted this year by Anthony Anderson (of ABC’s “black-ish”) and “The Price Is Right’s” Drew Carey, who is a Marine veteran.

5. Everyone knows that, when Americans reach for an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, vanilla and chocolate are the two most popular flavors (and in that order). What’s number three?

A. Butter pecan

B. Chocolate chip

C. Strawberry

D. Cookies and cream

Answer: D: Cookies and cream, according to data analysis by Stacker, which determined that among adults, cookies and cream is number three. (Throw in kids and strawberry jumps to third place.) Chocolate chip and butter pecan fill out the top five.

6. If you wanted to spend Memorial Day weekend in the city where the holiday first began, you’d travel to …

A. Columbus, Ga.

B. Columbus, Miss.

C. Columbus, Ohio.

D. Columbia, S.C.

Answer: Actually… The debate still rages between Georgia and Mississippi about which Columbus first observed what was then known as “Decoration Day,” when families would decorate the graves of their Civil War fallen. Most historians lean toward Georgia, but Mississippi’s case was helped when President Barack Obama mentioned it as the “birthplace of Memorial Day” in a 2010 weekly radio address.

To add even more confusion, in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation declaring Waterloo, N.Y., as the holiday’s birthplace.

J. Mark Powell is a novelist, former TV journalist and diehard history buff. He wrote this for