Eighth graders Ludo Cattano and Dylan Proctor won first place in the junior division of Huntington UFSD’s National History Day contest for their website that explored how the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots in Greenwich Village in New York City led to changes in American society.
This year’s National History Day theme is “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.” Participants in the competition were permitted to submit work in a variety of formats ranging from individual and group exhibits and websites to historical papers and individual and group documentaries.
Messrs. Cattano and Proctor are two of J. Taylor Finley Middle School’s top students. The duo created a sensational website they titled Fighting For Freedom! How The Stonewall Riots Changed American Society Forever.
“The Stonewall Riots were a very important event in history,” according to the pair’s thesis. “In 1969, the Stonewall Inn, which was a gay bar, was raided by police. The riots that took place afterward were an important event in history because it changed most of the public's perception of homosexuals, which resulted in them being more included in society. The riots were their way of communicating to us that they were sick and tired of being viewed differently just because they were gay.”
The research partners worked hard on their project and developed a very high quality website. To log onto the website, click here: https://site.nhd.org/90296693
“Our National History Day project was a website that focuses on telling the story of the communication aspects of the Stonewall Riots,” Mr. Proctor said. “My partner, Ludo Cattano and I thought that there would be nothing better than to do a history project on the first protest of LGBTQ+ rights and the roots of what is currently happening in the present time.”
The pair said they researched their topic by studying websites, books and news articles about the riots, which were precipitated by a police raid of the Stonewall Inn. A librarian helped guide them to the resources they needed.
“It was a great experience all around,” Mr. Cattano said. “It was really fun. It was my first experience of this kind. I’ve never really tried to do anything out of school like this before.
It was great working with Dylan. He was a great partner for this project; very knowledgeable and his sister also helped out a lot with the formatting, which I think was a contributing factor to making it such a great project.”
The duo said they also used their virtual reference collection accounts to find the material their project required.
“I am very happy with how it came out,” Mr. Proctor said. “I’m so proud of our website and all the hard work and effort that it took!”
After loading all of their sources into NoodleTools and making a paper copy of what they wanted to include in their website, the pair went about building the site itself from scratch.
“I’m very happy with how it turned out,” Mr. Cattano said. “The finished product was great. Maybe a few areas could’ve used fixing, but in general it was a quality website.”