History®’s Mankind the Story of All of Us Survey Finds 67% of Americans Want to Bring Back Abraham Lincoln as Their Leader

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Other Top-Ranked Answers to Questions Relating to the History of Mankind, People, Places, and Events include: Living in the Middle East 10,000 Years Ago at the Birth of Farming; Witnessing Columbus’ Voyage to the Americas; and Working in Michelangelo’s Studio Survey to Support HISTORY’s Epic Miniseries, MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US, Narrated by Oscar Nominee Josh Brolin, Premiering Tuesday, November 13 at 9:00 PM ET


With the upcoming 12-hour, six night epic series MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US narrated by Oscar nominee Josh Brolin, premiering Tuesday, November 13 at 9:00 PM ET, HISTORY has commissioned a nationwide survey that evokes a time machine – reflecting themes of the series – which outlines historical periods and figures that are inspiring and influential to Americans.

In the spirit of the Presidential election, and tied to the content of MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US, adults across the U.S. were asked which leader would they like to bring back to run the country today – President Abraham Lincoln garnered an overwhelming 67%, followed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill at 15% and Alexander the Great at 8%.

The MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US survey also found that more than one-third (36%) of adults wish they could have travelled with Christopher Columbus on his voyage to the Americas. Their second choices varied by gender; 31% of men selected travelling with Marco Polo on the Silk Road, and 24% of women chose Captain Cook’s discovery of Australia.

The survey unearthed findings on Americans’ attitudes about world history, posing questions on a host of topics such as:

  •     With which major figure would respondents most want to have dinner?
  •     In which era would they most want to live?
  •     What significant historical event they would want to photograph?
  •     What historic event most impacted their lives?
  •     And many more.

Key survey results include:

  •     48% would have liked to have dinner with George Washington, followed by Cleopatra at 32%. Henry the VIII and Napoleon Bonaparte were a no-show.
  •     55% of women think they would have best fit in 10,000 years ago in the Middle East, during the birth of farming.
  •     42% of men noted they would have best fit in serving as engineers for the Great Pyramid.
  •     29% of respondents would choose living during the Industrial Revolution (1750-1850), but not in Ancient Rome, which ranked last.
  •     48% would have loved to photograph the signing of the Declaration of Independence, followed by the building of The Great Pyramids at 33%.
  •     45% said that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ impacts their lives today, followed by the American Revolution at 25%.
  •     68% of men and 63% of women overwhelmingly chose the crossbow as weapon of choice (before guns were invented). Samurai swords were selected at a distant second at 23% and 21% respectively.
  •     52% said they would prefer working in Michelangelo’s art studio, if given the opportunity. Picasso came in second with 26% and Frida Kahlo was last at 6%.

The national survey also included questions on key elements that advanced humanity and world history. According to the survey, more than 75% of respondents across various age groups watch historical television programs.

Insights include:

  •     A question asked respondents to identify the most common item that shaped civilization. Most experts say the answer is salt, not wheat (flour) or pepper.
  •     Another question asked what human phenomenon best creates and connects empires; a majority of the respondents answered correctly with trade, not religion, nor the engineering of aqueducts and roads.
  •     Regarding China’s history, most respondents thought Emperor Qin Shi Huang had the Great Wall of China built for protection when he died, but the answer was the Terracotta Army.
  •     Another question asked which event most advanced human development. Most experts say the answer is harnessing fire, not the birth of modern medicine or creation of the alphabet.

MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US is the first television series in a generation to look at the history of the human race through the ages, but in a way that is highly ambitious in the scale of its cinematic vision, jaw dropping CGI and dramatic reconstructions of the most critical events in human history.

Brian Williams, Dr. Oz, Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., Jim Meigs, Anthony Bourdain, and many more share their insights on mankind in the series.

HISTORY is working with Nutopia, the same production team that made America the Story of Us, an Emmy-winning triumph in 2010 and the most-watched special in the network’s history.

Survey Methodology
The MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US survey was fielded by Decipher Research in October 2012. The online survey polled 1,000 adults across the United States.

HISTORY® is the leading destination for factual entertainment, including award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate, including scripted event programming, features a roster of hits including American Pickers®, American Restoration™, Ax Men™, Ice Road Truckers®, Pawn Stars®, Swamp People® and Top Shot® as well as epic mini-series and specials such as the Emmy® Award-winning Hatfields & McCoys, Gettysburg, Vietnam in HD, America The Story of Us, and 102 Minutes That Changed America. The HISTORY website is the leading online resource for all things history, and in 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected HISTORY’s Civil War 150 site for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the American Civil War sesquicentennial. http://www.history.com

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Heather Resnicoff
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