NOUS Northwest Recognizes Five National History Day Winners

From the National History Day (NHD) website, the program is described as “A year-long academic program focused on historical research, interpretation and creative expression for 6th- to 12th-grade students. By participating in NHD, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history. The experience culminates in a series of contests at the local and affiliate levels and an annual national competition in the nation’s capital in June.

“An independent study from 2011 found that participation in the National History Day Contest benefits students far beyond the competition. National History Day not only transports classrooms back in time during the school year, it transforms young minds forever.” (

The NOUS Northwest Commandery is proud to be part of National History Day by providing volunteer judges as well as presenting awards for projects related to our nation’s maritime services and heritage. The four states covered by the Commandery include Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska.

Below are the winners of the 2021 competition, receiving recognition and awards from NOUS NWT.

In the above photo, CAPT Dick Griffin stands with Washington state winners Owen Felt (l) and Anthony Zhangfor who created the project titled “Miracle at Midway: How Communications Changed the Course of the War.” Both students attend Timbercrest Middle School in Woodinville, WA and they will be entering the ninth grade in the upcoming fall term.

The awards ceremony was held at their school where CAPT Griffin gave a few brief remarks, telling them about NOUS and its support for History Day, his career, and he also answered a few questions. Both of the students’ mothers attended as well as their teacher. CAPT Griffin summed up the event, saying “It was a great event, and I was proud to represent the Naval Order.”

The Oregon Historical Society headquarters in downtown Portland, Oregon was the site for recognizing three Oregon ninth graders for their documentary “Shaping Communication at Sea: Naval Flag Signalling.”

Present at the ceremony were (above, l-r), NOUS NWT Commander CAPT Jim McGinnis, Fiona Zou and Emily Song of the International School of Beaverton, Elise Yu of Lincoln HS, Portland Public Schools, NOUS-Oregon NHD leader CAPT David Todd and CDR Ed Murray.

The three ninth grade students described their project as follows: “Our project is about maritime communication, specifically flag signaling. Our project focuses on how flag signalling played a key role in several conflicts in history. Furthermore, our project talks about the short term and long term impacts of flag signalling on maritime communication. However, our project also talks about the flaws of flag signalling and conflicts where flag signalling mistakes affected the outcome.”

The three students’ extraordinary documentary can be viewed at the following link:

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