Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, winner of the 10th Bradley Prize, referred to a classic ACTA study in his acceptance speech. Speaking to an audience that included Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren, he said:
‘Back to the hole in the boat: America is losing its historic literacy. Recently some 556 seniors surveyed at 55 of the nation’s top colleges — only 60 percent placed the American Civil War in the correct half of the 19th century. Only 34 percent identified George Washington as the American general at the Battle of Yorktown. Thirty-four percent thought it was Ulysses S. Grant. At 78 percent of the institutions polled, no history whatsoever was required in the undergraduate program. Historian David McCullough said, “We are raising a generation of young Americans who are historically illiterate.”’
He was referring to the groundbreaking ACTA study “Losing America’s Memory,” which found widespread ignorance of American history among seniors graduating from America’s top colleges and universities. A follow-up study found yet more chilling evidence that recent college graduates do not understand their own past. We hope that Mr. Ailes’s remarks serve as a wake-up call before America’s knowledge of itself slips silently away.