January 29, 2006 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

President’s Day, celebrated on Feb. 20, honors those who have served in the most powerful position in the world.  However, nearly 90 percent of Americans can’t name the four famous presidential faces carved into the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, according to a Jeep®/Goodmind study.

To shine the spotlight on our commanders in chief, the Jeep brand developed the “Jeep Commander in History” essay contest, an educational program to encourage America’s youth to take an earnest interest in our nation’s deep history and the legacy of our founding fathers.  The contest also celebrates the launch of the all-new Jeep Commander and the 65th anniversary of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, an icon of American history and the commanders in chief.

“With this Jeep study, we identified the need to promote civics and national history education,” said Jay Kuhnie, Director – Jeep Communications.  “With the launch of the all-new Jeep Commander, we thought it was a good opportunity to reach the younger generation and instill an interest in our nation’s past.’”   

The Jeep Commander in History contest is open to 7th graders, an age when American History is a central part of the curriculum, through President’s Day, Monday, Feb. 20.  Students are asked to submit an essay with their thoughts on the following:

  • Choose one of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial presidents and explain what you feel was his most important contribution to the history of the United States.
  • What advice would you give the current president and future commanders in history that would support America’s ideals of freedom?

For additional information and complete contest rules, visit www.JeepCommanderInHistory.com.

Survey Says
Goodmind, a New York based research firm, conducted the OmniVox survey of nine questions, on behalf of Jeep, via telephone methodology to access consumer knowledge of Mount Rushmore National Memorial and general presidential trivia.  A total of 1,042 respondents completed the survey.  Other findings include:

  • Almost one in ten 18-24 year-olds incorrectly named Abraham Lincoln as the first president of the U.S.
  • Three percent of college graduates could not name the current president of the United States.More than half (52%) of respondents did not know that Franklin D. Roosevelt was president for most of World War II.
  • If given the option, 22 percent of people surveyed chose JFK as the president they would most want to see on Mount Rushmore followed by Ronald Reagan (21%) and Franklin Roosevelt (15%). (Disclaimer: Mount Rushmore National Memorial will never be able to add another president to the monument per an agreement with the family of Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor responsible for the carvings.)
  • More than half the respondents (51%) were unable to name Andrew Jackson as the president on the U.S. $20 bill.
  • More than half (51%) of those surveyed couldn’t place the quote “Speak softly, but carry a big stick” with Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Fifty-six percent didn’t recognize Harry Truman’s quote “The buck stops here.”

Jeep Commander
Unlike other SUVs on the road today, the all-new 2006 Jeep Commander is the first seven-passenger 4x4 that is Jeep Trail Rated, and it is the only SUV in its class to offer a choice of two V-8 engines.

The introduction of the Jeep Commander signals the Jeep brand’s commitment to remaining the leader in the SUV market, a market that Jeep invented nearly 65 years ago.  The Jeep Commander expands and strengthens the Jeep lineup, which consists of Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Liberty and Jeep Grand Cherokee.