Skip to comments.Senate Panel Hears that Ignorance of U.S. History Poses Major Security Threat
Posted on 04/11/2003 2:25:13 PM PDT by Remedy
A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author is warning that widespread ignorance of American history among students and teachers at high schools and colleges is a major threat to the nation's security.
David McCullough sounded that alarm on Thursday in an appearance before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He said "we are raising a generation of people who are historically illiterate" and ignorant of the basic philosophical foundations of America's constitutional free society.
According to McCullough, who is a past president of the Society of American Historians, American citizens cannot function in a society if they do not know who they are and from where they came. He said only three colleges in the United States require a course on the Constitution in order to graduate -- and those are the three major military academies (the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs).
The historian stated that when asked to identify the commanding general of American revolutionary troops at Yorktown when British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered, more than half of a group of high school students guessed Civil War figure Ulysses S. Grant. Six percent, he said, conjectured it was Douglas MacArthur, who served as Supreme Allied Commander of the Southwest Pacific theater during World War II.
And McCullough added that when there are students at Ivy League colleges saying they thought Germany and Japan were American allies in World War II, the nation has a very serious problem.
The Washington Times notes other speakers who appeared before the panel voiced similar concerns.
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who chairs the Senate committee, has proposed legislation that would create summertime "presidential academies" for American history and civics teachers, and "congressional academies" for students of American history and civics.
The Welch Report Joe Waldron, executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), raised questions about the "research" used to reach that conclusion.
"This ruling even relies on material from Michael Bellesiles, the anti-gun historian whose research has been so discredited that he was forced to resign from Emory University," Waldron noted.
The first footnote in the opinion references Bellesiles' book "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture," which argued that Americans possessed few firearms prior to the Civil War, and those that existed were under strict government control. An independent panel of academic investigators found contained "prima facie evidence of scholarly misconduct." Bellesiles resigned his position at the university, allegedly to avoid being fired.
Poll confirms Ivy League liberal tilt More than 80 percent of Ivy League professors who voted in 2000 picked Democrat Al Gore and just 9 percent voted for Republican George W. Bush, according to a new survey.
The poll by Luntz Research Companies also found that only 3 percent of the professors describe themselves as Republicans and that Bill Clinton was the Ivy League faculty's pick for best president of the past 40 years.
Forty percent of the professors support slavery reparations for blacks, compared with 11 percent of the general public.
Who Will Defend American Values? Eighty-four percent of college students today do not believe that Western culture is superior to Arab culture according to a newly released poll funded by Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (a project by Empower.org) and former Secretary of Education William Bennett.
Considered by Empower America to be "the single most extensive survey of college students' attitudes about terrorism, the Middle East and the Bush administration this year," the poll reveals that high percentages of college students quite simply lack any pride in their country.
According to the poll, 70 percent of American college students would not serve in the armed forces if sent abroad, while 48 percent openly declared that they would evade a draft.
Rather than holding terrorists solely responsible for their actions on September 11, college students partially blamed the U.S. government for the attacks, as 57 percent of college students stated that United States policies are "at least somewhat responsible for the September 11th terrorist attacks."
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It is in the breaking news sidebar!
In any case, we'd have less Pelosi's if the honest and full history of the US was taught.
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