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Senate Panel Hears that Ignorance of U.S. History Poses Major Security Threat
AgapePress ^ | April 11, 2003 | Fred Jackson and Jody Brown

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.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: history; historyeducation; nationalsecurity
Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. - James Madison

Administration Cites Recent Surveys Showing Lack Of Basic Knowledge Of U.S. History

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 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."

1 posted on 04/11/2003 2:25:13 PM PDT by Remedy
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To: All
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2 posted on 04/11/2003 2:25:59 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Remedy
Nancy Pelosi stated that the military is Clinton military.

That is an out and out lie.

However, she can give Clinon credit for our government schools in being in such a poor condition. It's going to take a little longer to fix that problem.
3 posted on 04/11/2003 2:31:03 PM PDT by Only1choice____Freedom (Again, protestors have NO RIGHT TO BE HEARD, only a freedom to speak)
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To: Remedy
When we started teaching Social Studies, the curriculum was watered down. Students need to be taught history, geography, civics and economics. I thought my daughter was about to become a flaming liberal and then she took economics in college and really changed.
4 posted on 04/11/2003 2:32:36 PM PDT by AUsome Joy
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To: Only1choice____Freedom
Is that a reply to a different thread?

In any case, we'd have less Pelosi's if the honest and full history of the US was taught.

5 posted on 04/11/2003 2:47:58 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Remedy
"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."

And that's just the way the teacher's unions want it!

We're raising a whole generation of kids who are inured to being frisked every time they enter school, the airport, or any public building (just about). Remember when we were free? You don't if you are a public school kid.
6 posted on 04/11/2003 3:12:22 PM PDT by Henrietta
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To: Henrietta
Other than terrorism, the liberal education establishment/agenda is the most important issue to be taken head-on.

Here's some suggestions to accomplish such:

1 - Check the voter rolls for party affiliation of all public school teachers and, if applicable (like my hometown), any local college.

2 - Make a list of textbooks used actively, note glaring inclusions along with, of course, glaring ommisions.

3 - Create counter web publications of local/college paper(s)

4 - Host debates on local/educational issues

5 - Push for debate clubs in schools.

6 - Highlight selective politically correct punishments for deviation from the liberal ideology

7 - Under legal auspices, according to a respective state's law, have conservative students record, primarily by audio, primary classes and college lectures, special guests.

8 - If a college is local, highlight invited speakers (past and present)and their political bias.

9 - Take all suggestions above and create a website highlighting all finding as described above, not excluding additional avenues one may find beneficial.

Let's shine the light on these cockroaches and keep it on.

I'm going to try to start this potentially effective counter-offensive here locally and will report back.

God Bless All!!!
7 posted on 04/11/2003 5:06:39 PM PDT by torchthemummy
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