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Meet the Winners


"The Tyrants of Syracuse:" The Rise and Fall of the Onondaga Salt Company, 1860-1900    

1st Place - High School Division

Edward Elliott - Fayetteville-Manlius High School
Teacher: Dr. Ardyth Watson

“The Tyrants of Syracuse:” The Rise and Fall of the Onondaga Salt Company, 1860-1900
This research paper documented the battle for control of the salt industry in the United States during the latter half of the 19th century. The author discusses the strategies used by the Onondaga Salt Company in Syracuse, New York to become the main supplier of salt during the Civil War. His research relies heavily on the promotional materials produced by the company and newspapers articles detailing the political maneuvers used to gain dominance. The author provided excellent historical context by placing the events in the broader context of the Civil War and the heavy reliance on salt to preserve food in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Main Repositories Accessed: Onondaga County Historical Association, Library of Congress, Syracuse University Archives

Ai Weiwei: Communicating Defiance with Each Sunflower Seed  2nd Place - High School Division 

Naomi Yu - Jericho High School
Teacher: Valerie Conklin

Ai Weiwei: Communicating Defiance with Each Sunflower Seed
This website details the life and art of Ai Weiwei. The website shows how Weiwei used his art to bring attention to human rights issues in China. Yu conducted historical research and in-depth analysis to provide insight into Weiwei as a political activist and inspiration for contemporary artists. The artwork of Weiwei is paired with the historical events that inspired each piece helping the reader understand the significance of the work.
Main Repositories Accessed: Royal Academy of Arts Museum, New York Times Archives, The Museum of Modern Art

The Daisies Will Bloom Tonight     3rd Place - High School Division

Kaitlyn Choi - Jericho High School
Teacher: Valerie Conklin

“The Daisies Will Bloom Tonight:” Virginia Hall, American Spy and Saboteur’s Communication Pivotal to Allied Victory in World War II

This website documents the personal life and historical significance of Virginia Hall. Choi demonstrated excellent research skills and historical analysis. This project gave insight into a lesser-known historical figure and the role of women in the Allied victory during World War II.
Main Repositories Accessed: National Archives, National Archives UK, Archives Nationales (French)

Communication in History: The Miscommunication that Led to the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
1st Place - Middle School Division

Saad Ashar and Zayd Bhatti - Shaker Middle School
Teacher: Andrew Krakat

Communication in History: The Miscommunication that Led to the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
This documentary uncovers the role of miscommunication in the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. It provids a rich historical context and thorough historical analysis of the documents surrounding President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs including important documents withheld from the President. Ashar and Bhatti consulted various types of primary sources to document the failures in communication that led to the bombing of two Japanese cities.
Main Repositories Accessed: The Atomic Archive, National Security Archive, United States Department of State Archives, The Library of Congress, The Hiroshima Memorial Peace Museum, The Federation of Atomic Scientists, Film and Video Archive of the Associated Press, and The Atomic Heritage Foundation

Norman Rockwell: Communicating Racial Inequality Through Art   2nd Place - Middle School Division

Madeline Rong - The Wheatley School
Teacher: Jo Beth Roberts

Norman Rockwell: Communicating Racial Inequality Through Art
Madelyn Rong, from The Wheatley School, under the direction of their teacher, Jo Beth Roberts, produced a documentary focused on Norman Rockwell’s determination to highlight racial inequality through his artwork. The documentary featured a detailed historical background, excellent historical analysis, and the use of a variety of primary sources. This project focused on the connection between Rockwell’s paintings and major historical events, as well as his influence on contemporary artists and activists.
Main Repositories Accessed: Norman Rockwell Museum, Library of Congress, National Archives, Saturday Evening Post Art Archive, FDR Library, Gerald Ford Library, Howard University Law Library, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, National World War II Museum, and National Women’s History Museum

Sojourner Truth: A Voice for Universal Equal Rights  3rd Place Middle School Division

Erika Kawakami - Jericho Middle School
Teacher: Valerie Conklin

Sojourner Truth: A Voice for Universal Equal Rights
This exhibit showcased the legacy of Sojourner Truth. It was well-presented and showed excellent historical analysis. Kawakami’s original ideas and thoughtful analysis of the historical records is prevalent throughout the exhibit. Through this project, readers gain a better understanding of the life and work of Sojourner Truth and her impact on both New York and United States history.
Main Repositories Accessed: New York State Archives, Library of Congress, and New York Times Archives