Remember all of the publicity Jamestown and Virginia received two years ago for the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the first permanent English settlement in North America? Why, even the mother country's own Queen Elizabeth visited us to great international aplomb! Not only was all the attention — and the millions of taxpayer dollars that paid for its — going to draw tourists to the Old Dominion, but it would be a great way to educate America about its founding history. We were even charged an extra buck a year on our car tag renewals for a while to help fund the state's spending on promoting Jamestown's year long party (and some pols wanted to keep the charge even after the celebration was over).
Not that we shouldn't have done all that celebratin' mind you. But it doesn't sound like the education thing was much of a grand payoff. Glenn Beck today, on his radio show, cited a poll of Americans' acumen on U.S. history. The results were embarrassing, with many not knowing basic, simple American civics questions — and they were multiple choice. One question was:
Which event happend prior to American independence?
The Civil War
The Emancipation Proclamation
The War of 1812
The Jamestown Settlement
While 49 percent of respondents got answer correct, a combined 51 percent chose one of the three (obviously) incorrect answers. So much for all the education. So much for all that publicly spent money.