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Between the Bytes With Mary Kate: Ben Franklin Wasn’t President?

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  • Mary Kate Mansfield
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Hey guys! It’s Mary Kate here, and presidents are on my mind, more specifically, all the presidents. In a series from PBS Digital Studios called “60 Second Presidents,” a narrator gives the viewer everything they could ever possibly want to know about any president in just 60 seconds.

This series got me thinking about why the public education system in America even teaches about past presidents, let alone make a web series on them. The best answer I could come up with was because history is important. Without learning about history later generations would never know about Watergate and why it happened, or about the Cuban Missile Crisis with JFK. New generations of voters would never know about the women’s suffrage movement and how Woodrow Wilson finally conceded to them and granted women the right to vote in 1920. Or even about FDR repealing prohibition making the excitingly secret notion of speakeasies obsolete. Though all of these events have various levels of importance to the individual in American society, they all make up the history of the great country we call home.

This brings me to a more trivial reason to know odd facts about the presidents: trivia nights, something most college students know and love. It’s a great excuse to use random information they’ve gleaned from the Internet over their many late nights procrastinating homework. Its more affordable nature also explains some of the appeal to college students. I myself am no stranger to trivia nights; in fact, I was the height of nerdy in high school competing on my school quiz bowl team. We traveled around the area where I grew up competing with other schools to out do each other in the area of random knowledge and had fun with it the whole time.

AETN Quiz Bowl

Important side note: AETN is also not a stranger to trivia. They have been airing the regional championship of area high school quiz bowl teams since 1985. In keeping with this 32-year tradition, the riveting event will be aired near the end of this month on Saturday, April 22, starting at 9 a.m. Watch with us, and brush up on your skills!

PBS Digital Studios 60 Second Presidents Woodrow Wilson

Whether the facts in these videos are put to use for quiz bowl, trivia night, or growing a love of history, the presidents of the past can contribute to the future of America and the series “60 Second Presidents” is so important. Though the creators lend some humor to the series to keep it entertaining, the concept of learning about a past president in 60 seconds is a fantastic way to bring to light the importance of history.

So check out “60 Second Presidents” from PBS Digital Studios and stay tuned for more information the airing of the quiz bowl regional championship on AETN. You might find you know more than you think and be tempted to try out a trivia night or two.

Some of my favorite trivia nights in Conway can be found at Bear’s Den Pizza, ZaZa Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co., and Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom. Did I miss any good trivia nights? Have a great place you want to share in your city? Post it in the comments! I would love to hear from you!


“60 Second Presidents”

PBS Digital Studios

Mary Kate Mansfield is a senior at the University of Central Arkansas working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism and will graduate in December of 2017. She is also the editor of the UCA yearbook “The Scroll” and an intern for AETN’s Marketing and Outreach department.