Blount County student is winner at East Tennessee History Day

Courtney Whited, a student at Carpenter’s Middle School, placed first at the East Tennessee History Day competition, held March 3 at the University of Tennessee. She will represent the region in the state competition, April 5, in Memphis. State winners will advance to the national finals, held in Washington, D.C.

Courtney Whited produced an exhibit entitled “The Road to Nowhere.” Her project focused on the controversial 30-mile stretch of road proposed for the north side of Fontana Lake on the eastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. The road was originally promised to the residents of Swain County in 1943 when the Tennessee Valley Authority built a major hydroelectric dam, creating the lake and flooding out an existing road. After a fitful start in the 1960s, the road was abandoned for environmental and budgetary reasons. The project fit with this year’s History Day theme of “Conflict and Compromise.”

The East Tennessee Historical Society and the University of Tennessee History Department cosponsor East Tennessee History Day. “East Tennessee students consistently place in the state finals,” said Lisa Oakley, ETHS curator of education. “We congratulate Courtney and wish her good luck in the state finals.”

Nearly 300 middle and high school students across East Tennessee participated in the annual History Day competition by producing projects in one of five categories: historical papers, exhibits, documentaries, performances, and Web sites.

For more information on how your school can participate in NHD, contact Lisa Oakley at 865-215-8828 or oakley@east-tennessee-history.org.

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