||"Many parents, especially
the Baby Boom generation, are concerned their children aren't
learning enough about how and why the United States came to be,"
says Colonial Williamsburg Foundation president Robert
Wilburn. "Kids are inundated with information from movies,
television, the Internet and theme parks, but how much of it is
really stimulating, relevant or even accurate?"
survey consisted of 1,004 adults between the ages of 35 and 54
and 502 children between the ages of 9 and 12. On average, the
adults got 7 of the 10 multiple choice questions correct, while
the kids got about half. Questions both groups found easy were
the identification that George Washington was our first
president and that there were 13 original states.
Other stumpers were the fact that the concept that all
Americans are entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness" is spelled out in the Declaration of Independence is
known to only about 30% of those polled, that two-thirds of kids
and that one-third of adults don't know that Patrick Henry
said "Give me liberty, or give me death."
The survey, of course, is designed to serve Colonial
Williamsburg's purpose of drumming up visitors to the
restoration in the Tidewater area of Virginia. The foundation
says those surveyed believe visiting historic sites is second
only to reading history books in conveying the concepts of
"Our nation's future depends in part on our understanding of
the past - the ideals and values on which this country was
founded," Wilburn says.