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News Release
“World War Two: The Japanese Surrender,” Junior Group Website by Samantha Smythe and Daniel Rainwater, ACCESS Academy
“World War Two: The Japanese Surrender,” Junior Group Website by Samantha Smythe and Daniel Rainwater, ACCESS Academy
Ninety Students Across Oregon Participate in the Virtual Oregon History Day Contest (Photo) - 05/12/22

Portland, OR — As schools continue to adapt amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 90 students from communities across Oregon participated virtually in the 2022 Oregon History Day contest, the statewide qualifying competition for the annual National History Day® contest. Students from 15 schools representing 17 cities and towns worked individually or in small groups to produce fascinating projects in the form of documentary films, websites, performances, exhibits, and papers. 

Creating projects inspired by the annual theme, “Debate & Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, and Challenges,” these young historians in grades 6–12 chose topics to explore and proceeded to conduct historical research and practice critical thinking skills as they analyzed primary and secondary sources and considered diverse viewpoints and bias present in these materials. 

Oregon History Day is supported by volunteer judges, who evaluated projects online and met virtually to discuss the feedback they would provide to students and reach consensus on project rankings. With the top two projects in each category qualifying for the national contest, this feedback is crucial as students can revise and improve their projects before they are judged against projects from across the nation. Of the 48 projects considered, 24 qualified to advance to the National History Day® contest, taking place online from June 12­–18. 

“Students participating in Oregon History Day this year created projects that demonstrated their impressive skills in researching primary and secondary sources and analyzing those sources to offer valuable interpretations of what happened in the past and why it matters,” said OHS Chief Program Officer Eliza E. Canty-Jones. “They brought creativity and tenacity to the work, persevering through ongoing pandemic uncertainty to create inspiring projects that help us all better understand important events in history.” 

A few featured projects that will advance to the National History Day® contest include:

A History of Interactions Between Pacific Northwest Indigenous Tribes and the United States 

Senior Group Website by Jonathan Hu, Karthik Krishnamurthy, and Hyunsoo Lee of Westview High School in Portland

In their process paper, the students wrote: “Our research was predominantly conducted online by finding primary and secondary websites that provided information about what we were researching. thecanadianencylopedia.ca, oregonhistoryproject.org, and oregonencyclopedia.org were some of our most helpful sources for the research phase, owing to their detailed and informative articles.” Their bibliography demonstrates the extensive use of the OHS resources mentioned here. 

This website uses the theme to consider the two-century-long history of relationships between Indigenous tribes in the Pacific Northwest and the United States, arguing that, “Many of the failures of debate and diplomacy that happened centuries ago continue to have reverberating effects today.”

The 1912 Oregon Suffrage Vote: How Tactics Make and Break Debates

Junior Group Performance by Alexa Buckley, Fiona Synder, Franka Gronke, Jolee Ray, and Hazel Miranda-Zellink of ACCESS Academy in Portland

According to the students’ process paper: “Our research started with searching for general information on the fight for suffrage in Oregon and the background of the suffrage movement in the United States. During this process, we took a trip to the Oregon Historical Society’s suffrage exhibit for more info alongside our online research. We started compiling a list of sources and a rough outline of the background information needed to make our argument. At this point we had enough information to narrow down our topic to form a thesis statement, for which we chose to cover the 1912 campaign’s success.” In their project, these students “argue that a major factor in the success of the Oregon suffrage movement was the public campaigning and mass advertising used to promote the movement.” According to their bibliography, these students also made good use of The Oregon Encyclopedia. 

Over half a million students across the country participate in National History Day® each year, and once again, the national office is allowing students to begin work on their 2023 projects now, inspired by the theme “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Things.” For more information on National History Day®, visit nhd.org. 


About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view. 

Attached Media Files: “World War Two: The Japanese Surrender,” Junior Group Website by Samantha Smythe and Daniel Rainwater, ACCESS Academy , “The Debatable Trent Affair: How Strategic Diplomacy Prevented War,” Senior Individual Exhibit by McKenzie Rose, Echo School , “Bayou: The Systemic Removal of Native Americans from the Louisiana Territory and their Omission from Debates and Negotiation over the Louisiana Purchase,” Senior Group Website by Darsh Mandera, Daniel Hadi, Namrata Venkatesan, and Samyak Shrimali, Jesuit , “A History of Interactions Between Pacific Northwest Indigenous Tribes and the United States,” Senior Group Website by Ishaan Agrawal, Jonathan Hu, Karthik Krishnamurthy, and Hyunsoo Lee, Westview High School , “Berlin Wall: The Rise and Fall of the Iron Curtain,” Junior Group Exhibit by Shriya Pai, Jane Coffey-Read, and Sky Zak-Apperson of ACCESS Academy , “The 1912 Oregon Suffrage Vote: How Tactics Make and Break Debates,” Junior Group Performance by Alexa Buckley, Hazel Miranda-Zellnik, Jolee Ray, Franka Gronke, and Fiona Snyder of ACCESS Academy , “The 1912 Oregon Suffrage Vote: How Tactics Make and Break Debates,” Junior Group Performance by Alexa Buckley, Hazel Miranda-Zellnik, Jolee Ray, Franka Gronke, and Fiona Snyder of ACCESS Academy , “The 1912 Oregon Suffrage Vote: How Tactics Make and Break Debates,” Junior Group Performance by Alexa Buckley, Hazel Miranda-Zellnik, Jolee Ray, Franka Gronke, and Fiona Snyder of ACCESS Academy , “Berlin Wall: The Rise and Fall of the Iron Curtain,” Junior Group Exhibit by Shriya Pai, Jane Coffey-Read, and Sky Zak-Apperson of ACCESS Academy
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