Is Your American History Textbook Lying to You?

Why not test yourself?
1. Who segregated the federal government?
      A. No one -- it had always been segregated.
      B. Abraham Lincoln in 1861
      C. Ulysses S. Grant in 1871
      D. Woodrow Wilson in 1913
      E. Harry S. Truman in 1947
2. True or False? The first black player in the major leagues was Jackie Robinson.
      A. True
      B. False

      (Click here for the answers.)

James W. Loewen
James W. Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. Photo credit: Sally McCay.

James W. Loewen is coming to
Charleston this October 28-29.

         In his bestselling Lies My Teacher Told Me (1995), James W. Loewen (pictured at left) deftly exposed the distortions and omissions of high school American history textbooks, and, in his forthcoming Lies Across America (1999), he takes on the version of American history presented by historical sites and monuments. Charleston residents will have the opportunity to hear this passionate educator and ardent scholar on October 28th and 29th:

  • Thursday, Oct. 28
    • 7 pm: Public lecture in Maybank 100. (The College of Charleston, on St. Philip at Calhoun.)
  • Friday, Oct. 29
    • 9:00-11:00 am: Workshop for teachers and future teachers at the Brown Annex, Room 404. (Formerly the Bishop England Annex, on the corner of Coming and Calhoun.)
    • 2:00-3:00 pm: Question-and-answer session with students and faculty, Education Center 116, on the College of Charleston's campus
 All events are free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the College of Charleston's School of Humanities and
Social Sciences, the American Studies Program, the Department of History,
the Avery Research Center, and the School of Education.

Quiz Answers

1. D. Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Lincoln desegregated the White House staff in 1863, which, in turn, began a desegregation of the federal government that lasted until Wilson.

2. B. False. Robinson was the first in the 20th century. Blacks played major league baseball in the nineteenth century until a protest by the president of the Chicago White Sox led to the Baltimore Orioles expelling the last, their third baseman, in about 1889.

Questions and answers adapted from Loewen's quiz Did High School History Prepare You to Take This Test?

(Click here to return to top of page.)

Learn more about James W. Loewen:
Some of Loewen's Books:
The Mississippi Chinese (1988)
The Truth About Columbus (1992)
Lies My Teacher Told Me (1995)
Lies Across America (1999)

College of Charleston | School of Humanities and Social Sciences | American Studies Program
Department of History | Avery Research Center | School of Education
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This page was last updated on 6 October 1999.