Minnesota Students Take Top Honors at National History Day Competition in Washington, D.C.

For immediate release

Release dated: 
June 13, 2019
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org

Minnesota Students Take Top Honors at National History Day Competition in Washington, D.C.

Students from North Lakes Academy in Forest Lake and Murray Middle School in St. Paul earn top awards

As the National History Day competition wraps up today, Minnesota’s 54 competitors took home an array of awards, including one gold medal, one second place winner, and several top finishers.

Awards were announced today in a ceremony at the University of Maryland, College Park. Minnesota’s delegation included students from across the state, joining more than 3,000 other students from across the nation in the weeklong competition.

The students, representing grades six through 12, presented exhibits, papers, documentaries, performances and websites that showed off months of research into topics based on this year’s theme: "Triumph and Tragedy in History." 

The top three national finishers in each category earn monetary awards. First place receives $1,000, second place receives $500 and third place receives $250. National History Day also recognizes one outstanding state entry in each division, junior and senior, with a medal.

Medal winners are:

  • Abigail Peterson, North Lakes Academy, Forest Lake. 1st Place, Senior Individual Website, “Stomaching America: Tragedies and Triumphs of ‘The Jungle’”
  • Kevin Torstenson, Murray Middle School, St. Paul. 2nd Place, Junior Individual Performance, “The 26th Amendment: A Triumphant Alliance” 

Other top finishers from Minnesota:

  • Ella Hoch Robinson, South High School, Minneapolis. 4th Place, Senior Individual Website, “The Risks of Freedom: The Triumph and Tragedy of Civil Liberties in Skokie” 
  • Tana Ososki, Aaron Ramsey, St. Paul Academy & Como High School St. Paul. 5th Place, Senior Group Performance, “Mississippi Freedom Summer” 
  • Grace Philippon, Sam Skinner, Central High School, St. Paul. 8th Place, Senior Group Website, “Finding Honor in Defeat: The Demilitarization of Japan”  

Other award winners from Minnesota:

  • Grace Philippon, Sam Skinner, Central High School, St. Paul. Global Peace Special Prize, Senior Group Website, “Finding Honor in Defeat: The Demilitarization of Japan”  
  • Ella Hoch Robinson, South High School, Minneapolis. Outstanding Affiliate Entry in the Senior Division, Senior Individual Website, “The Risks of Freedom: The Triumph and Tragedy of Civil Liberties in Skokie” 
  • Calvin Weier, Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake. Outstanding Affiliate Entry in the Junior Division, Junior Individual Exhibit “The 1992 LA Riots”

About National History Day in Minnesota
National History Day in Minnesota is a cocurricular historical research program that builds college readiness and communication skills for middle and high school students. 27,000 students from over 250 schools participate in Minnesota each year. The program in Minnesota is a partnership of the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts. 

Program support is also provided by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. For more information, visit education.mnhs.org/historyday.


The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at mnhs.org.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partner: Explore Minnesota Tourism.