Americans aren’t exactly known for our knowledge of history (or geography, for that matter). But we should at least know our own presidents, right? Enter these researchers, who used an online survey to measure how well people can distinguish real US presidents from others with well-known or presidential-sounding names. They found that, while people were actually able to recognize 88% of US presidents by name (the exceptions including lesser known presidents like Franklin Pierce and Chester Arthur), they were also likely to incorrectly identify several non-presidents, including Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin. Of course, the researchers point out that the study was performed before the popularity of the Broadway musical “Hamilton”, which might make people more aware of Alexander Hamilton’s place in history. Maybe for the sake of public education, the next hit musical should be “Pierce”?
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