Ever since she got a 96 on a history test on the Revolutionary War in third grade, Hingham High School junior Lexi Linton said she has loved history. That passion for the past has now scored her a trip next month to the nation’s capital.
Linton’s documentary, “Nantucket Whaling: An Era of Social and Economic Evolution,” placed first in the Individual Documentary Category of the April 12 statewide History Day competition. She and two dozen others from the Bay State will now compete nationally in June.
Her film told of how the whaling industry provided economic and social opportunities to women and people of color on the island. Women left behind while men were at sea for extended periods managed households and businesses.
“In the late 18th century, Centre Street became known as ‘Petticoat Row’ because almost all of the shops and businesses were owned by women,’’ Linton narrates in the film.
Meanwhile, people of color who were successful on the high seas prospered, more so than elsewhere in the country, she reports.
Linton said she was familiar with Nantucket, having spent summers there with her family. On rainy days, they would go to the whaling museum if they were bored. She said she appreciates it more now than she did years ago.
Her teacher Christina O’Connor said Linton’s qualifying for the nationals “is a source of pride not just for her, but for our entire class – even those she beat in competition.”
The other student winners south of Boston include Lily Tang, Ashley Tsang, and Janice Quach of Braintree High School, who won second place in the Senior Group Exhibit category; Diana Binney of Easton Middle School, who took second place in the Junior Historical Papers category; Olivia Pierce of Easton Middle School, who won second place in the Junior Individual Exhibits category; Jessica Roa of Easton Middle School, who finished second in the Junior Individual Documentary category; and Megan Holleran and Olivia Carroll, of Easton Middle School, who placed second in the Junior Group Documentary.
A number of other area students received honorable mentions.
Jean Lang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.