From Staff reports
How many faces do you recognize from the Revolutionary War?
Identifying some of the most important American figures of the Revolutionary War proved more of difficult task than one would expect.
Almost all of the 14 people interviewed for this story recognized right away Revolutionary War General and first U.S. President George Washington. Least recognized was James Armistead Lafayette, a slave who asked his owners permission to enter the war against Great Britain.
After being told the answers, the people frequently said they recognized the patriots more by their names and achievements than by their faces.
The following are excerpts from those 14 surveys.
Cassandra Rambo, 57, a librarian at the Jonesboro Branch Library, knew three out of the six patriots by name and photo.
"I would have known them years ago. I get a lot of it back helping the kids with reports," said Rambo, who added that the "average Joe" wouldn't know all of them.
"He's also on one of our bills," Rambo said. "Isn't he on the twenty?" Although she guessed incorrectly, Rambo did know that Thomas Jefferson wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence.
Rambo admitted her history was not too keen, missing a patriot who embodied the struggle for American liberty .
"Patrick Henry, I hardly knew you," Rambo said.
Miranda Fenderson, 19, of Riverdale could not place Henry either.
But she knew famous beer brewer and organizer of the "Sons of Liberty," Samuel Adams.
"I recognize him from the commercials," Fenderson said.
She couldn't remember that Washington was the first President without a little help.
"Wasn't he the cherry tree guy?" Fenderson asked.
Nora Melton of Jonesboro also recognized one of the patriots from U.S. money. She did not recognize anyone beyond Washington. When Jefferson was flashed she didn't know his name but said, "He's on the nickel."
Jerrod Spencer, a 16-year old high school student from Atlanta, knew about half the patriots on the list.
"We do projects on different people," Spencer said, explaining how he recognized Adams immediately. "That's the man who made the beer."
Lisa Bowens of Riverdale identified Washington, Jefferson, Henry, and Ross. She was able to express what roles they played in American history, but could not identify Adams or Lafayette. While she knew of Adams' contributions she had never heard of Lafayette.
Portia Carlisle is a 20-year old Gordon College student. To her, July 4th means "Spending time with family and I guess celebrating history with others." She attributes her inability to identify five of the six pictures to the fact that most history courses emphasize the events that took place and not the people.
Lucille Philpot of Jonesboro said she is fairly patriotic. Identifying three of the six pictures, she said she feels people are losing interest in history and slowly forgetting their forefathers.
Jonesboro-attorney Robert Smyly, 33, who scored three out of eight, said recognizing the faces was much harder than the names.
"I know about those people and what they did," he said. "I'm just not used to seeing the image."
Getting only three correct, Donald Williams, 41, of Jonesboro said he didn't think most people would be too acquainted with the faces.
"It's more important to know what they did as far as their names," he said.
Clayton State University student Liz Wellington, 26, who guessed three of the historic figures, said she was surprised she remembered the ones she did "considering how long it's been since I've taken a history class."
Johnny Thompson, 35, said the hard part was identifying the person by a picture.
"I've never seen any pictures of them," said Thompson, who could only identify Washington. "When you were tested they asked who they were and what about them."