Should U.S Presidents Be Required to Know U.S History?

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( In America, Black people are typically taught an edited version of the country’s history. It’s interesting because the events happened a particular way—as they happened—and someone would’ve documented events as they saw them. It’s why Ken Burns’ Civil War is held as one of the best put-together historical documentaries.

Should U.S Presidents Be Required to Know U.S History?

In Civil War, we have letters and written accounts from leadership, soldiers, sympathizers, observers, and bound Black people. All who experienced the Civil War in some way and had takes on the conflict as it affected them.

However, when it comes to history taught in school there are things that can change what we—the People—learn. For instance, learning about the American Revolution in elementary, middle, and high school was as you’d expect. As the grades go on, you learn more and more about the specifics such as France’s involvement but there’s a lot of boosting George Washington and the Founding Fathers.

Then we change it to learning about the Civil War, Segregation and the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement. It wasn’t unusual to get around other students and find that we all didn’t learn the same thing. As a matter of fact, in elementary and middle school, the Civil Rights Movement was kind of sped through.

In part, I sum it up as that’s what the state wants taught or what would be touched on in a state high school exit exam. You know, the criteria. The benefit I had was my mostly Black history teachers made sure to teach more about the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. Looking back, it would’ve been odd not to really learn about those given this is Birmingham, Alabama and we have a whole Civil Rights Museum.

So Should U.S Presidents Be Required to Know U.S History?

But most of us are civilians, many won’t run for public office. However, many of us of have had to know U.S history to pass any number of exams over the decades. It’s a prerequisite in most cases most to get to the next stage of education or to teach history. However, for the position of President it doesn’t seem like it’s that important.

It’s of import but required?

For the record, I believe that world leaders should know the history of the country they’re governing and representing. I’m not saying they need an encyclopedic knowledge of history but they should at least know the hits as the youngest of the voter base should’ve learned. I mean, there is a cut-off to some degree.

History doesn’t stop after leaving college. By the time someone meets the base age requirement for presidency, there’s like a decade and change worth of events that happened. Not only that, there’s a high chance those events are impacting things they would be dealing with in Office.

Honestly, it would be odd if a 45-year-old American ran for President of the U.S and was a brick about the country’s more recent two-decade involvement in the Middle East. It overlapped four administrations, a lack of knowledge on that would be a massive red flag because it’s recent. They were of age to serve while this all went on. So, yes the Civil War, World War I and II—our candidates should know this stuff.

What do you think? Should our president have a firm grasp on U.S history? Also, a side question to our millennial readers: did you learn about the Korean War and Vietnam in school prior to college? I’m curious because those were wars I learned on my free time away from school but they were never covered in middle or high school.

Let us know in the comments.

Staff Writer; James Swift, Jr.

Gaming since 1989 and headbanging since 1999, James enjoys comics, RPGs, wrestling, and all things old school and retro. Check out his writing here AfroGamers and The Black Rock and Heavy Metal. You can also find him on Twitter at; metalswift and soon on Kick where he will stream mobile titles.

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