Professor Not Surprised Americans Don’t Know Much History

CHICAGO (CBS) Recent studies have shown that many Americans don’t know very much about American History.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, this Independence Day weekend, a local historian says she’s not surprised.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

DePaul University historian Colleen Doody says one reason many American seem ignorant of American history is because it’s often taught as a series of dates and events, and is boring.

“On the one side, you have conservatives who see the teaching of American history as the teaching of a sort of seamless truth. What does it mean to be American, and what is the meaning of our nation?” Doody said. “On the other side, you have professional historians who are saying, ‘No, we’re not trying to teach truth. In fact, we’re trying to look at the past as this contested place where different groups have had different ideas, have fought for their rights, have not always agreed.”

Doody is a guest on Newsradio 780’s “At Issue” program this weekend. You can hear more of her comments on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Newsradio 780.

  • Paul Revere

    The truth will always reisinate, American history as taught today and probably since the so-called founding of this nation, is full of mistruths and falsehoods, and obvious omissions, due to the shame that most Americans feel, wheater subconcious or knowingly, about how this nation was built and assemble to be what it is today. I say again teaching the truth is the only way all Americans will embrase its history.

    • US Citizen

      As an American citizen, I find your comment to be offensive. No mistruths, no omissions, all BS. Most Amiricans feel only pride being an American, no shame at all. Being the best isn’t always easy, but then, a country like the US has proved time and time again, the strong will always prevail ! God bless the USA !

  • sucker

    Americans are dumb when it come to American and World history, I blame the school system.

  • Lyndia

    US Citizen, why do you find the comment to be offense? There are a lot of mistruths and omissions. Everybody know that. Were you born in this country or are you naturalized? You are not ashamed of taking this land from the Indians?
    Pride in slavery? Is that what you are proud of? This is a great country but like all countries, their greatness came at the expense of others.

    • US Citizen

      @Lyndia, What lies? What ommisions? Born in Milwaukee. The Indians had no concept of owning anything. They were uncivilized mammals, not much unlike any other animal that was here. They proved to be vicious and murderous beings, without any intelligence or structure as far as government. That being said, this unsettled land was up for grabs. Slavery was a small price to pay to be taken from a poverty stricken jungle and eventually becoming citizens of this country, with all the same opportunities to prosper as anyone. Too bad so many blacks do not take advantage of the opportunities available to them. Study hard, work hard, stay out of trouble, and anyone can prosper in this country.

      • Paul Revere

        @ US Citizen – I am an American Citizen and am proud to be… However, we as Americans have alot of audacity, as your comment shows… You are confusing your hate with pride. When GOD created this universe he created for all who inhabit it. It is concerning that you would refer to another group of HUMANS as animals. Shame on you… “Study hard, work hard, stay out of trouble, and anyone can prosper in this country.” this is true and is what makes this a great nation… But there is nothing wrong with the trurh…


    You are not only CLUELESS about our past history you are STUPID as well. Thank God you didn’t say any of those STUPID things to my face!!!

    • US Citizen

      Name calling is nice, but I would prefer an actual opinion. Exactly what offended you? Obviously you feel something I said was innaccurate.

  • Ashamed to be ab American with idiots like you!!!

    @ US CITIZEN: You’re a CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN right? No body else could be that DUMB!

  • History Teacher

    HEY IDIOT!!! You probably believe that Columbus discovered America !!!

    • Scott

      @History Teacher, 1492, Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria. See, some of us did pay attention in school.

  • Black and Native American

    US Citizen Your comments about Native Americans and Slavery being a small price to pay are inacurate and offensive. What happened to the Blacks and the genocide to the Native Americans are appalling chapters in American History. You demonstrate a profound ignorance. Your views are racist and stupid to say the least. I recommend studying history before commenting about it. Let me guess WHITE and WEALTHY RIGHT???

    • Craig

      There was no genocide. The strongest and most intelligent came out on top. I guess after you see someone scalped, vigilance is strengthened.

  • Ashamed to be an American with idiots like YOU around

    I don’t know if US CITIZEN is WHITE and WEALTHY but he IS an evil RACIST A****LE!!

  • p

    50,000 Korean War National Museum supporters can use charity search engines & .

    • Pam

      @P, Put down that bottle and pay attention, you’re on the wrong story ! HaHaHa

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