On the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s reading of the Gettysburg Address, Dan Joseph of the Media Research Center interviewed college students at George Mason University to see how much they know about arguably one of the most famous speeches ever given.
The short answer? It’s not pretty.
With a few prompts such as “Who said, “Four score and seven years ago…’?” Joseph quizzed the students who stopped to chat with him on the college campus.
While some knew the words belong to Lincoln, only a handful of the ones shown in the video eventually got the answer correct.
Interestingly more than a couple guessed it’s from the Emancipation Proclamation.
Some just got a big ‘ol kick out of the question:
Others were amused by their own lack of knowledge:
“What’s his face” one student replies, straining to guess the author.
“Is it a president that said it?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t really pay attention when they were teaching that in school.” (When Joseph asks what the student was doing at the time, the reply is: “Sleeping, probably? I don’t know.”)
This guy said he didn’t see the movie “Lincoln,” so, like, how could he know?
“George Washington?” guessed another student.
And perhaps the most memorable almost-correct answer: “It is Lincoln’s speech saying ‘Hey, we need to chill out and, you know, be cool and stuff.”
[sharequote align=”center”]”It is Lincoln’s speech saying ‘Hey, we need to chill out and, you know, be cool and stuff.”[/sharequote]
“It’s the ‘something’ address, I know that much.”‘
Tellingly, when the one student who apparently got the answer correct right away was informed that most of her fellow college students didn’t know the answer, she wasn’t amused.
Grimacing, she replied, “That’s unfortunate.”
Here’s the clip: