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Elementary winners named in 2019 History Day competition

Zebediah Mamea and Renee Dunson

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Manumalo Academy sixth graders Renee Dunson and Zebediah Mamea took home First Place Thursday, in the "Group Exhibit" category for the Elementary portion of the 2019 Island-Wide History Day competition, hosted at the Church of Jesus Christ Stake Center in Ottoville.

This year's theme: "Triumph and Tragedy".

Renee and Zeb's project was on Louis Zamperini, an American World War II veteran, a Christian evangelist, and an Olympic distance runner, best known for being a Japanese prisoner of war survivor.

The Island-Wide History Day competition is a two-day event sanctioned by the American Samoa Department of Education (ASDOE) and open to elementary and high school students representing both public and private schools.

Thursday was set aside for the elementary division while high schoolers battled it out Friday in various categories such as: group documentary, group exhibit, group website, research paper, individual documentary, individual website, individual exhibit, individual performance, and group performance.

Winning entrants — as determined by a panel of judges — will get the chance to travel to the 2019 National History Day competition, set to be held June 9-13 at the University of Maryland, College Park, to compete against other aspiring historians from across the U.S.

Last year, the territory sent six local students to the national competition.