From the first telegraph to the cell phone, all eras of communication were explored as the Harrison County History Fair kicked off at the Carriage Place for the weekend.

“All students in grades sixth through twelfth in Harrison County are invited to participate in the Harrison County History Fair, regardless of whether they are educated at home, in a public school, or a private school,” Barbara Cox, chair of the event, said of the guidelines.

The annual history fair, presented by the Harrison County Historical Commission, has become a highly anticipated event, following its revival four years ago after a nearly two-decade hiatus. During the resurgence, the HCHC opened it up to only Marshall middle school students, but made it a goal to expand the event, welcoming participation from all districts throughout the county.

This year’s National History Day theme is “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding”.

“At this level, students can choose to create an exhibit (a free-standing display), a performance, or a documentary,” said Cox.

Last year, more than 50 projects were entered. Although challenging this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were just as eager to reveal their research and showcase their projects.

“Everyone is working twice as hard this year to teach and learn during this pandemic,” said Cox. “Teachers and students are showing amazing resilience and determination.”

The fair was moved this year to the Carriage Place at 2000 East Loop 390 N., in Marshall. Students began setting up their projects at 8 a.m., Saturday. Judging kicked off at 9 a.m. The awards ceremony followed at 12:30 p.m. The day concluded with public viewing of the exhibits from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

To protect everyone from the spread of COVID-19, the historical commission required all attendees to wear a face covering, sanitize their hands and practice social distancing.

“The Harrison County Historical Commission would like to extend heartfelt thanks to The Carriage Place for generously volunteering their venue for this year’s fair,” said Cox.

Students who succeed at the county fair will have an opportunity to advance to the regional fair in Texarkana.

Winners for this year’s county fair were:

Individual Exhibit

  • 1st place—Julia King “Invention of the Telegraph”
  • 2nd place—Ella Geave Glanton “The Unbreakable Code”

Group Exhibit

  • 1st Place—Emmalee Walls and Alex Stevens “The First Telegraph Station in Texas”
  • 2nd Place—Graham Smith and Walt Truelove “Power of the Podium”

Individual Documentary

  • 1st place—Jayden Townsend “The Real Windtalkers”
  • 2nd place—Wyatt Harmon “Navajo Code Talkers”

Group Documentary

  • 1st place—Juan Diosdado and Tyler Dunaway “The Evolution of the Telephone”
  • 2nd place—Jagger Abernathy and Brody Solis “Communication Through Music”

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