Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Forget Britney

In this month's Smithsonian magazine, Sam Wineburg, a history and education professor at Stanford University, surveyed 2,000 11th and 12th graders to see who they considered to be the most famous Americans – excluding presidents and their wives. Marilyn Monroe landed in the number eight slot. Now, before anyone gets their tassels knotted up about where teens' priorities are, Monroe and Oprah were the only two on the list that were also likely candidates of an episode of E!: Hollywood True Story. But, I wonder if any of the 2,000 teens realize who Lili St. Cyr was or that Monroe modeled herself on the burly queen.

For those of you curious about the list, here's the complete top ten list:

1. Martin Luther King Jr.
2. Rosa Parks
3. Harriet Tubman
4. Susan B. Anthony
5. Benjamin Franklin
6. Amelia Earhart
7. Oprah Winfrey
8. Marilyn Monroe
9. Thomas Edison
10. Albert Einstein

And, a poll of 2,000 adults age 45 and over produced a list with only two differences – Betsy Ross and Henry Ford replaced Monroe and Einstein.

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