Fans of the popular "Jeopardy!" quiz show were dismayed recently when none of the contestants were able to answer a clue based on elementary knowledge of U.S. History. The show in question, hosted by "Big Bang Theory" actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik, saw contestant Robin Lozano choose the “Quotations” category for $800 during a round of Double Jeopardy. Bialik then gave Lozano the clue…from an exceedingly famous piece of historical oratory, stating: "'Government of the people, by the people, for the people' is from the end of this brief but powerful speech.”
Seconds passed and then some more…until the final buzzer sounded without any of the contestants offering so much as a guess at the solution to the clue.
The correct answer, of course, would have been, “What is the Gettysburg Address.” Given the pathetic state of history education in the U.S. in recent years, the fact that not one of the contestants knew the answer should not have been shocking.
We will soon see a “Jeopardy!” host ask contestants, “What is the capital of the United States?” only to be answered with, “What is California?” The query, “Who is known as the father of our country?” will generate the reply, “Who is Puff Daddy?”
Similarly, the interrogatory, “What are the three branches of American government?” will be responded to with, “What are the FBI, CIA, Capitol and Bicameral?”
“No, Justice, none of those are correct. And there aren’t four branches of government.”
We are all in Jeopardy.