I actually watched this episode:
As much as we might all enjoy a night of trivia at our local watering hole, answering questions about everything from potent potables to whatever punning-on-history category the writers come up with on Jeopardy! is a different beast altogether. Contestants are racking their brains for multiple games a day (assuming they make it that far), and eventually, everyone’s time is up on the show. But on Monday evening’s game, all three contestants were shown the door after providing three wrong answers to the final Jeopardy! question.
Claudia Corriere and Mike Drummond, the co-returning champions, were tied at $13,800 going into the Final Jeopardy! round, with Randi Kristensen bringing up the rear with $6,000. Then came the final clue: “A 1957 event led to the creation of a national historic site in this city, signed into law by a president whose library is now there too.” Everyone picked a different U.S. city (though Kristensen wasn’t able to finish writing “Springfield”), and they were all wrong. But they had also all bet everything, which created a three-way tie for last place.
Host Alex Trebek wryly carried out his Solomon-like duties following the surprising conclusion of the game, informing the contestants (and viewers) that they had all lost and that Tuesday’s game would start with three new tributes, er, contestants. This is only the sixth time that all three contestants have choked in the final round; the most recent instance was a three-way loss during 2013’s Teen Tournament. You can watch the dismay slowly spread across all three contestants’ faces below, but try to keep your schadenfreude in check (we can’t all be Turd Ferguson). And in case you were wondering, the event and president in question were the desegregation of the schools and Bill Clinton, so the correct question-answer was actually “What is Little Rock, Arkansas?”.
Even though I was stumped, I focused on a couple of things. I was prepared to answer "Austin" because that's where the Lyndon Johnson library is located. I thought, well, Johnson signed Civil Rights legislation into action after...what? That's what the problem was, because the 1957 event was clearly the desegregation of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. And from there, you go to Bill Clinton and his library is in Little Rock, so, there you go.
Expecting three white people to know the history of the Civil Rights movement is too much to ask these days. I'm not sure if there's an overtly racist aspect to this, but there certainly is a strategic problem with ending up broke on Jeopardy. If you don't know the answer, bet nothing! You could have won!
This reminded me of what's going on in Oregon. President Eisenhower took the Arkansas National Guard away from the former governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, and called out a thousand U.S. troops to forcibly desegregate the schools in Little Rock. Surely, there's a Ranger battalion that wouldn't mind restoring good order and discipline to a Federal bird sanctuary.