20 November 2013

College Students & The Gettysburg Address - It Ain't Pretty

On the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s reading of the Gettysburg Address, Dan Joseph of the Media Research Center interviewed college students at George Mason University to see how much they know about arguably one of the most famous speeches ever given. The short answer? It’s not pretty.

Any wonder why homeschooling has become so popular?


ropelight said...

What an absolutely appalling display of fundamental ignorance of one of America's signature historical events, disgraceful. I would expect a better performance from a random sample of high school dropouts, including those from foreign countries. This is the stuff for a 5th or 6th grade pop quiz. An appropriate follow-up question could easily have been, Who's buried in Grant's tomb?

Now, admittedly, I'm no fan of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, I find it spotty and hypocritical, which is a decidedly minority assessment, but it's been elevated to high traditional significance and it's almost universally respected, even revered. Any college student, better than 97 out of 100 anyway, should be unable to identify it without hesitation. After all, it's pretentious opening few words are unique and rather distinctive.

For so many college students enrolled at a Virginia school named for one of our infant nation's most respected leaders and located only 15 miles from Washington DC to fail so miserably is more than appalling, it's a stunning indictment of the public education system.

If this is the best they can do then close the doors and send everyone home, because we, as a nation and as a self-governing people, have no use for them.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hypocrisy or not, the Gettysburg Address is one of the most amazing political speeches in American history. It's language and symbolism (hypocrisy acknowledged) is beautiful and stunning in its grandeur.

Regarding the video:
"it's a stunning indictment of the public education system."

It sure is, yet the "system" keeps telling us only "they" can educate the rest of us. Uh-huh. More coming on that soon.

13thBama said...


You do realize NO ONE is buried in Grant's Tomb, right? :) I get your point that they wouldn't get "Grant" but even that would be wrong if they did. Its a tomb.

ropelight said...

'Bama, FYI, in the early '50s Groucho Marx hosted a game show called You Bet Your Life! If a contestant failed to answer any questions correctly Groucho would offer to give them $100 dollars as a consolation prize if they could identify who was buried in Grant's tomb.

Most contestants answered Grant and walked away with 100 bucks, but a few just walked away with their hands in their empty pockets.

13thBama said...

Rope, that is interesting. I guess the moral of the story is, "You can be correct or you can have $100". :)

ropelight said...

'Bama, here's Wikipedia's $100 worth.

General Grant National Memorial (as designated by the United States Congress), better known as Grant's Tomb, is a granite and marble mausoleum containing the remains of Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), American Civil War General and 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant (1826–1902). The tomb complex in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan in New York City is a presidential memorial managed by the National Park Service. The structure is situated in a prominent location near the intersection of Riverside Drive and West 122nd Street, overlooking the Hudson River.

13thBama said...

Also from Wikipedia

"From 1947–1956, if the couple ended with $25 or less, Marx asked an elementary consolation question for a total of $25 (later $100) which did not count toward the scores. The questions were made easy in hopes that nobody would answer incorrectly, and included such examples as "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?", "When did the War of 1812 start?", "How long do you cook a three-minute egg?", and "What color is an orange?" The question about Grant's Tomb became such a staple of the show that both Marx and Fenneman were shocked when one man got the question "wrong" by answering "No one". As the contestant then pointed out, Grant's Tomb is an above ground mausoleum."

ropelight said...

OK, 'Bama, let's not split hairs. To some of us buried means underground, like when a dog buries a bone in the back yard, to others buried means placing the dearly departed in a grave, tomb, or even committing them to the wine dark sea.

But burying can also mean concealing or hiding, like someone in bed suddenly frightened might bury their face in a pillow, or someone with a secret might bury it deep within their soul.

Some people even shake hands and bury their petty disputes.