IFAS | Freedom Writer | November 1998 | constitution.html

U.S. teens lack knowledge of Constitution

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania A recent study by the National Constitution Center found that American teenagers are not tuned into United States history.

Only 41 percent can name the three branches of government, but 59 percent can name the Three Stooges.

Seventy-four percent can name the city where cartoon character Bart Simpson lives (Springfield), but only 12 percent know where Abraham Lincoln lived (Springfield, Illinois).

About 90 percent can name the star of the television series "Home Improvement" (Tim Allen), but less than 33 percent can name the speaker of the House (Newt Gringrich).

Less than two percent of teenagers recognize James Madison as the father of the Constitution, while 58 percent know Bill Gates as the father of Microsoft.

Eighty-one percent know that the rock group Hanson is made up of three brothers, but only 21 percent know how many members are in the Senate (100).

More than 75 percent know what city has the zip code 90210 (Beverly Hills), but only 25 percent know in what city the Constitution was written (Philadelphia).

The National Constitution Center is building a museum in Philadelphia designed to make Americans more familiar with the Constitution.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.