Historical Surveys

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”   -Spanish philosopher George Santayana-

Surveys are so important to get a snapshot of who we are as a nation and how we react to things.  At SurveyBeta we believe it’s important to draw from information of years gone by and find out how to improve going forward.

Here, you can look back with us at surveys from what seemed like a more innocent time.  But if we take a closer look, we can see many parallels between our current problems and those issues of our past.  We feel its important to review these historical surveys and learn from it. Below are some that we’ve gone back and analyzed.


October’s Historical Survey Question: 

Should Supreme Court Justices have mandatory retirement at 70 years old?

Published 1938


In 1787 the Founding Fathers created the Supreme Court and the concept of the positions that have filled it ever since. Initially, they didn’t actually have a solid number for how many Judges would work within it.




September’s Historical Survey Question: 

Should the United States enter the war (World War II) now?

Published 1941

Prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States watched from abroad while their allies and their enemies fought in war over territory and a lack of closure over the first World War. President Roosevelt was anxious to get involved as the Germans were making their way through Europe without much resistance.





August’s Historical Survey Question: 

When supplies of the Polio vaccine are available will you take it?

Published 1955


This question was asked the American Public in 1955 when Polio was at its peak.  Much like today, fear gripped the nation as Polio was rampantly spreading through the country.  It seemed to be indiscriminate and health care workers were overwhelmed with new cases.





July’s Historical Survey Question: 

What is the most interesting book you have ever read?

Published 1937


At the time of this survey the United States was smack in the middle of the Great Depression.  People were out of work and a large majority were out of hope.  Some people looked for a distraction from their despair.  The golden era of TV was still over a decade away and although FDR and his fireside chats gave some hope, most turned to books.





 June’s Historical Survey Question: 

What should be done about the immigration problem in the Unites States?

Published 1984



As Ronald Reagan routed Walter Mondale in the Presidential race of 1984 (49 states to 1), immigration was on people’s minds.  Reagan, getting a vote of confidence wanted to know what to do about the immigration “problem.”  Much like today with Obama’s DACA act and Trump’s Wall, immigration became a hot button topic.





May’s Historical Survey Question: 

Do you think the electoral college serves any real purpose?

Published 1948


The 1948 election was an amazing moment in U.S. History as all the accredited press had given the election to Thomas Dewey over the incumbent Harry Truman.  However, in a shocking turn of events not only did Truman win the Electoral College handily (303-189) he also won the popular vote (49.6% to 45.1%).





April’s Historical Survey Question: 

Do you think the September 11th attacks will change the world forver?

Published 2001


The September 11 terrorist attacks are still felt in today’s society.  This was the most traumatic event in United States history.  Many people were frightened and anxious about what was to come next.  Fortunately at the time there was a sense of unity amongst the citizens of the country and with that unity people banded together.





March’s Historical Survey Question: 

Should Martin Luther King Jrs birthday be a national holiday?

Published 1972


In present day this question seems absurd. Martin Luther King is a national icon who fought for civil rights in a non violent manner.  His quest for equality and peace during the turbulent 60’s matches no other, yet four years after he was assassinated in Memphis, this was a serious debate.





February’s Historical Survey Question: 

What is your view on Higher Education?

Published 1972


With the end of the 60’s there was a real movement from the younger generation for equal rights.  Women especially were starting to break out from being the housewife and branching off into the workforce.  In 1972  the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights  began to enforce Title IX of the education amendments which stated “No person in the United States shall…





January’s Historical Survey Question: 

What is the biggest problem facing the Country?

Published 1974


In today’s world we tend to look back on different eras in fondness without realizing that people from the 20th century faced just as many issues as the present day.  Inflation was out of control, gas lines began in 1973 due to oil shortages.  We were in the tail end of war that seemed to have no end.