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February 2002
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Who wants to be a history professor?

Once of an evening, not long ago, I turned on the telly and caught a bit of the game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? For the $32000 question, a college student, was asked "Who won the battle of Hastings." Three of the choices were Harold, William the Conqueror, and Edward the Confessor; I don't recall the fourth choice.

One might suppose that anyone who is sufficently advanced in the education cycle so as to be a college student would have found this a "snap" question, but it was not so. She had no idea as to the answer so she used one of her "lifelines", the option to call a friend and ask him (or her as the case may be but in this case it was a him) the question. Her friend was a history professor.

Our hapless contestant read the question to her friend. He said, "I'm not really sure; I'm in American History; but I'm about 60% sure that it was William the Conqueror."

Fancy that, a history professor in doubt about who won at Hastings in 1066. I do wonder if he has read Foucault.


This page was last updated February 11, 2002.

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