Don’t Know Much About History


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On TV I see those Jay Leno ‘Man on the Street” like interviews where people can’t even identify the first words of the Star Spangled Banner, or don’t know who the first President of the United States is. He is not the only one who conducts such interviews. There are several folks on TV who do something similar.

I always wonder how many people they have to interview before they find one not so bright person to show on TV. I used to imagine that for every 50 people, they found one who was a couple of watts short of a light bulb.

I am not so sure any more.

Recently, while looking on the internet for something entirely different, I came across an old (September, 2007) USA1 failure sleep Today news story about college students failing a history test ~ College students struggle on history test.

This is why I never getting anything done. The internet has so many stories and links and I am so curious I HAVE to read at least half of them.

The college students had a low and failing score of 32% on the history test, and a high of just 69%.

The history test the college students took was similar to a test given to adults a year before on their knowledge of basic American civics. Both tests were administered by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI),

“In spring 2008, a random sample of [2508] Americans took a straightforward test designed to assess each respondent’s “knowledge of America’s founding principles and texts, core history, and enduring institutions” – ISI’s definition of civic literacy.

As detailed in the Report Card link below, over 70% of Americans failed this basic test of the kind of knowledge required for informed and responsible citizenship.”

Report Card

1 bang head 2What is even sadder than college students doing so poorly on a basic history test, and Americans in general failing a basic civic test is that our elected leaders did even worse!!!!!


Elected leaders knew even less on the  civics test than the citizens who elect them! No wonder elected politicians try to bully us into giving up essential Constitutional rights!

How disgusting is that? No wonder Mayor-Nanny Bloomberg thinks he has the right to tell me what I can eat and how much of it I can eat.

You can see the test score gaps between elected leaders and citizens at the link below:

Elected Officials Score Lower than the General Public

What Would Benjamin Franklin Think?

1 doi 2On the civics test the scariest finding for me was that 40% of Americans think that the President has the power to declare war. Well, on second thought, why wouldn’t they? During the last ten years or so Congress seems to have abdicated that right – that delicate balance of division of powers totally forgotten.

The national grade of all Americans on the test? A big fat: “F”.  The average score was 49%.

You can read more about the civics test and the results here: Our Fading Heritage.

Embedded in the middle of the USA newspaper article was a link to the history test. I of course had to take it.


Was not sure how I would do. I have not had to take a formal test in years, and years, and years.  Plus I had not taken any history or civics classes in ages, and ages, and ages.

But hey! It was just between me, myself, and I. Right?

It was a hard test. It was multiple choice and for most questions there were subtle choices that required real thought. Several of the possible answers were similar enough that I had to access higher thinking skills.

To my surprise I did much better than I expected. I got 31 of 33 questions right for a score of 93.94%. I missed two questions. Both of them were in economics. In my defense, I have never had a formal school economics course in my life. It is clearly one of my weaknesses.

What Are the Implications?


It is reported that after the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and upon being asked what form of government the newly formed country would have, Benjamin Franklin answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”



Featured Recipe        Tangy Hamburgers


This is not the recipe I wanted and had planned to share with you today. I had planned on a beautiful and the heavenly Bow Ties with Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cream Sauce.

But alas, it was not to be.

I fell down Tuesday in downtown Dublin, Ohio and injured my left knee while delivering candy. I tried to finish my rounds, but it just got too painful.

The only good thing about the fall was the three young and handsome men who rushed over to me to make sure I was OK and to help me up.

So I went home, propped the leg up and pretty much stayed put the rest of the day. I alternated a cold pack for 20 minutes, 20 minutes with nothing, and 20 minutes with a heat pack. Within an hour the swelling went down by seventy-five percent. Nevertheless, I kept at it. By night time things were much better.

I  made up a few of the offices I missed on Tuesday on Wednesday. I did not want to over do it. I will make the rest of the offices I missed today.

I also had to curtail my standing in the kitchen. So instead of the lovely pasta dish it was much easier and quicker to make hamburgers.

This is what you will need to make 4 hamburgers:

1 pound ground beef or chuck

Lemon juice (About 1-2 tablespoons) + 1-2 tablespoons zest

Worcestershire Sauce (About 1-2 tablespoons)

Garlic Powder to taste

Onion Powder to taste

1-2 tablespoons bread crumbs


2 -3 tablespoons butter

Dash of lemon juice

Dash of Worcestershire Sauce

Salt for the pan

Parsley optional garnish


Here is what you do:

NOTE: I do not “formally” measure anything in this recipe. I just zest and squeeze and shake everything directly into the bowl with the ground beef.

Place ground beef into a bowl.

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and onion powders, and the Worcestershire sauce, and bread crumbs to the ground beef.


Then mix together with your hands. Do not over work the ground beef. It will make the hamburger tough.

Shape into 4 even sized patties.


Melt the butter and the lemon juice and Worcestershire Sauce.


Brush both sides of the patties with the butter mixture.


Lightly salt the bottom of your skillet and heat the salt very well over high heat.


When the skillet is very hot place the patties in the skillet. (I do 3 at a time so as not to crowd them. They brown better that way.)



Sear the burgers on one side………


……..and then flip the burgers over and reduce the heat to low. Cook the burgers to desired doneness. ( Three minutes on one side and about 2 minutes more for a medium rare;  about 4 minutes on each side for medium; about 5 on each side for well done.)

Medium rare:


I eat my hamburgers without a bun.  I limit my carb intake. You may want to make a sandwich.

These will be very moist hamburgers. If you wish a dryer hamburger, add more bread crumbs or less lemon or Worcestershire Sauce. .

Add a bit more Worcestershire Sauce to the burger if desired.

Serve with corn on the cob and a salad.

Bon appétit!!!


1 pound ground beef or chuck         $5.08

2-3 lemons                                    $1.20

Worcestershire Sauce                     $0.42

Garlic Powder to taste                     $0.42

Onion Powder to taste                     $0.51

1-2 tablespoons bread crumbs         $0.19

2 -3 tablespoons butter                   $0.24

Dash of lemon juice                        $0.10

Dash of Worcestershire Sauce         $0.08

Salt for the pan                                ——

Parsley optional garnish                  $0.10

Total cost = $8.24
Cost per burger = $2.06

Quote of the Day

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


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6 comments to Don’t Know Much About History

  • Roberta

    Hope your knee is healed, my friend! Quite a creative way to get handsome young men to “lift you up”!

    • Roberta

      Not healed totally, yet. But much better. Thanks.

      At my age, you take it any way you can! 🙂

  • Your burgers look just like my grandmother’s! Wow! What a wave of nostalgia…Speaking of history. History is barely taught in the public schools anymore. That’s it.

    • Roberta

      Really??? Your grandmother made burgers like this? Too cool. I am beginning to think that we were twins separated at birth. 🙂

      I used to teach. I fit history in. How sad so little history is taught these days. Whose dumb idea is that? I am so out of it!!! *Shakes head in disbelief*

  • I’m so sorry you fell. I’m sure you’ll be fighting fit in no time.

    As for this test, I often dismay when reading things like this but then I realize that there are heaps of really clever people in the world so all is not lost.

    I did okay on the test but I certainly didn’t get 100%. It’s not an easy test.

    • Roberta

      Healing steadily, but by no means fit yet. I hope you are right about heaps of clever folk. But I still worry if vso many voters dp not know the basics of our freedoms. Rhey wil be easy to manipuate by the unscrupulous.

      It is not an easy test. Yet that is not an excuse for such extreme low scores. High schools and colleges have dumbed down the curricuum. In 1961 college students studied 25 hours a week. Today it is down to 13. Colleges don’t teach basic history any more. All of these things take theie toll.

      Ben Franklin said it best…..we gave you a Republic …..if you can keep it.