- Historic Sites
This article is based upon an address given by the author as one of the Lilly Endowment Lectures of the Program for Christian Culture at St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Dr. Hanke, former Director of the Hispanic Foundation in the Library of Congress, is professor of Latin American history at Columbia University. His Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1959) won the Beveridge Prize of the American Historical Association. He is also the author of Aristotle and the American Indians: A Study in Race Prejudice in the Modern World (Henry Regnery, 1959), and is now editing for Alfred A. Knopf two paperback series, Latin American Issues and Latin American Reprints.
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Why do we need a national nonprofit membership society for American history?
“Save America’s Treasures” has been totally eliminated—the largest Federal program supporting preservation of such treasures as the original Star Spangled Banner and George Washington’s tent.
65% of Americans don’t know what happened at the Constitutional Convention, according to a recent survey by Newsweek.
The “Teaching American History” grants—the largest Federal program supporting history education—have been completely eliminated.
Visits to the Top 20 Civil War battlefields have dropped in half from 1970 to 2009 according to official National Park Service statistics.
40% of Americans can’t identify whom we fought in World War II, according to a recent survey by Newsweek.
A quarter of Americans believe Congress shares power over U.S. foreign policy with the United Nations, according to a recent Annenberg survey.
“There is little that is more important for an American citizen to know than the history and traditions of his country,” John F. Kennedy wrote in American Heritage.
The “We the People Program,” which touched some 30 million students and 90,000 teachers over 25 years, has been completely eliminated.
Two-thirds of Americans could not correctly name Yorktown as the last major military action of the American Revolution, according to a recent national Gallup survey.
The National Heritage Areas and Scenic Byways program, the only major Federal program encouraging visits to historic places, has been completely eliminated in Congressional committee.