Are the current generation--born say between 1985 and 1990--exceptionally ignorant? Well, maybe, but probably not:
According to recent papers by two researchers, it turns out Americans have been deeply ignorant of their history for a very long time, while still creating the strongest, if not the brightest, country in the world.
A test administered in 1915 and 1916 to hundreds of high school and college students who were about to face World War I found that they did not know what happened in 1776 and confused Thomas Jefferson with Jefferson Davis. A 1943 test showed that only a quarter of college students could name two contributions made by either Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln, leading historian Allan Nevins to fret that such a historically illiterate bunch might be a liability on the battlefields of Europe in World War II.