Don’t know much about history? Apparently, you’re not alone.
As Americans prepare to spend the Fourth of July weekend enjoying the sizzling summer weather while marking this country’s independence 234 years ago, a new poll found that a whopping one in four Americans have no clue which country the United States declared its independence from.
In a new Marist College poll released today, a shocking 26 percent failed to identify Great Britain as the country the US colonies fought to gain its independence, CNN reported.
That includes the 20 percent who were “unsure” and another six percent who thought the US fought a revolution, starting in 1776, against another country — a list that included France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain, the poll found.
The poll surveyed 1,004 Americans between June 17 and 24. The survey has a margin of error of three percentage points.
This reminds me of this older poll:
Americans apparently know more about “The Simpsons” TV show than about the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the TV cartoon family, according to a survey.
The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.
Joe Madeira, director of exhibitions at the museum, said he was surprised by the results.
“Part of the survey really shows there are misconceptions, and part of our mission is to clear up these misconceptions,” said Madeira, whose museum will be dedicated to helping visitors understand the First Amendment when it opens in April. “It means we have our job cut out for us.”
The survey found more people could name the three “American Idol” judges – Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson – than identify three First Amendment rights. They were also more likely to remember popular advertising slogans.
It also showed that people misidentified First Amendment rights. About one in five people thought the right to own a pet was protected, and 38 percent said they believed the right against self-incrimination contained in the Fifth Amendment was a First Amendment right, the survey found.
And people scoffed and ridiculed when Ron Paul got on TV and said we need to end the Department of Education.
These graphs begin when the Dept. of Education was founded.