‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Fail To Identify Closing Lines of Gettysburg Address and Fans are Not Happy

by John Jamison

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…” … A nation where all three contestants on “Jeopardy!” would forget the iconic closing statement to this staggeringly significant moment in American history.

Okay, that’s not exactly how Abraham Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address. But it’s a good thing he wasn’t around to see tonight’s episode of “Jeopardy!” Because all three contestants did, in fact, fail to recognize the closing words of perhaps the most important speech ever delivered by an American leader. And the internet was not happy about it.

During Double Jeopardy, the contestants had to contend with a “Quotations” category. For $800, they were faced with the clue below:

“‘Government of the people, by the people, for the people’ is from the end of this brief but powerful speech”

Ringing a bell? Well, the contestants all drew a blank. None of them could muster up the correct answer. And in case you never had to memorize the whole speech in your middle school history class, here’s the statement for reference.

“…that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Truly beautiful words. Lincoln offered them at the site where there had just been one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. History. His address was brief. But in the span of two minutes, he iterated America’s national purpose and ushered in a new era of American liberty.

The Internet Chimes In on the ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants’ Performance

It’s safe to assume how Twitter users felt about the “Jeopardy!” contestants failing to recognize the speech. Not great.

“In 5th grade, every kid in class stood and recited the Gettysburg Address from memory. That’s probably not happening anywhere now,” another said.

“How did #Jeopardy manage to find three contestants who don’t recognize the closing line of the Gettysburg Address? This isn’t Elementary Jeopardy, folks,” someone else asked.

And perhaps the most embarrassing for the contestants:

In fairness, we’ve been a little hard on the “Jeopardy!” contestants. Maybe they if they had a few extra seconds to think about it, or if they weren’t under the pressure of a wildly popular game show. Who knows?

What we do know is that it’s not a great look for trivia-inclined contestants who had to pass a test to get on the show.