South Dakotans Know Their History. Well, Kind Of
A couple quick questions: What freedom is guaranteed under the First Amendment? Who was the United States President during the first World War?
Coming up blank? It turns out, you're not alone.
Nationally only four in ten Americans can pass what is considered a basic American History exam. It seems that with the emphasis on science and math (which is a good thing), American History is getting left in the dust (not a good thing).
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation conducted a nationwide survey to see who knew, and din't know, basic history. And they found that those of us in South Dakota are pretty good, relatively speaking.
While Vermont topped the history knowledge survey, South Dakota landed in the top five at number three. Our neighbor to the west, Wyoming, was second and Montana and Virginia rounded out the top five. The lowest? Head south, as Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Louisiana were at the bottom.
Our other South Dakota neighbors did pretty well too, with Nebraska at eighth, Minnesota tenth, North Dakota number eleven and Iowa fifteenth.
So those of us in the upper Midwest are smart, right?
Well...hold on. While we're right up there in the survey, it still isn't great. Matter of fact, we could all do a lot better. Read the results of the survey and see the rankings and you'll find none of us are exactly in line to become historians.
Oh, and by the way, those two questions at the top there? It's speech...and Woodrow Wilson.