Last month’s Smithsonian magazine included a startling article on a recent survey by Sam Wineburg to determine the most “famous” Americans since the time of Columbus, other than presidents and first ladies. According to a survey of school-age children, six of the most famous Americans are women, and four are African-Americans.In order, these were the top ten:1. Martin Luther King Jr.2. Rosa Parks3. Harriet Tubman4. Susan B. Anthony5. Benjamin Franklin6. Amelia Earhart7. Oprah Winfrey8. Marilyn Monroe9. Thomas Edison10. Albert EinsteinOn its face, this is not a list of either the ten most famous Americans or the ten most important Americans. (Mr. Wineburg concluded that he would have gotten the same results if he had asked participants to name “important” Americans.) But from the survey we learn (or are reminded of) three things.First, children usually tell grown-ups what they think they’re supposed to. That’s why no rappers or studio wrestlers made the list. Any kid who’s heard of “diversity” knows he won’t go wrong by identifying Martin Luther King or Susan B. Anthony as a person of fame.Second, political correctness has triumphed in our history classes. This survey makes clear that history teachers (now, regrettably, “social studies” teachers) are now giving… Read full this story
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