I'm not sure what the point of this rant is. I'm used to people being profoundly ignorant of history. As a medievalist, I'm used to people not knowing what I'm talking about. As someone who is not particularly into American history, I can relate to not knowing details about things that don't strike a specific interest. But how do people get through life not knowing such major things, things that ripple out to affect us today?
This kind of relates to an earlier conversation I had with friends about how many (most?) people have views about the constitutionality of things, without really knowing the constitution. A friend blamed the schools. My response was that we now live in a purely pragmatic society -- schools are encouraged not to teach info for its own sake, only things like how to raise SAT scores and thus go to college to get high-paying jobs.
I don't expect obscure knowledge from the average person, but what is going on in our society when even relevant info isn't common knowledge anymore?