MOUNT VERNON — Two Mount Vernon High School students have earned the right to compete at National History Day in Ohio on April 27. Jacob Miller and Victoria Wendt were named state finalists at the District 6 contest for their outstanding research papers.
Wendt said she is glad to be going to state competition this year, partly because her younger brother made it to state last year.
Wendt wrote about “Women in the United States Naval Academy.” The topic is historically significant, the high school junior said, because traditionally the Naval Academy was an all-male school. She talked with women in the academy when she was there in Annapolis last summer, and also interviewed Sharon Hanley Disher, who, in 1980, was one of the first females to graduate from the academy.
“It was awesome,” Wendt said. “Clothing, especially, was a challenge. Like the pants — since women’s hips are wider, they just added a triangle of fabric to make it fit until they could get proper uniforms. They had to wear heels when they were marching and carry purses. Also, the men didn’t want them there.”
Wendt said she is interested in attending the Naval Academy in the future.
Speaking of his state finalist status, Miller said, “I wasn’t expecting to go to state, so I’m happy.”
His essay was titled: “Landslide 1964: How a Failed Presidential Campaign Proved to be a Turning Point in American Politics.”
Barry Goldwater, in 1964, Miller said, was one of the first conservatives to run as a Republican for president. He lost to Lyndon B. Johnson in an historic landslide.
“When I started looking at it,” Miller said. “I realized that a lot of the demographics that support the Republican party today goes back to 1964.”
Explaining why he thought that election was a turning point, Miller said, “The loss brought more national attention to the conservative movement. Before then, the conservatives weren’t considered to be a viable option. They were considered to be kind of crack pots. Even though Goldwater lost, it gave more attention to conservatives.”
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