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FOURTH THURSDAY IN HISTORY: Fourth Annual High School Local History Smackdown

Keweenaw National Historical Park

National Park News

The Copper Country has a fascinating past, and no one knows it more than the 68 students taking part in the fourth annual High School Local History Smackdown! Seventeen teams of students from the four-county area have been studying hard and will face questions on the history and geography that define the Keweenaw Peninsula. The last team standing will claim the Smackdown trophy.

How does the Smackdown work? Teams of four players are asked short-answer questions from a broad range of local history topics. There is a standard double-elimination format ? two wrong answers and a team is out of play ? but this year, organizers have added a twist: each team will be granted the right to ?pass? one question. In addition to coaching from teachers, information is available online ( to help teams prepare for the event. The site lists topics, sample questions, and a bibliography of sources that were used to develop the questions. Presiding as Quizmaster in his Smackdown debut is Mark Wilcox of the Daily Mining Gazette. A panel of judges representing Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties provides final resolution to any disputes that may arise. The winners walk away with bragging rights and the Smackdown trophy, which is engraved with the winning team member?s names. 2006?s victors will hold the trophy until next year, when they will be invited to defend their title or pass it along to the next successful team.

The event will take place in the historic Calumet Theatre, 340 Sixth Street in Calumet, at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 27. Team registration begins in the theatre ballroom at 6:00 p.m. A variety of local historical organizations will have vendor tables set up, and refreshments will be available before the event begins. The Smackdown not only allows students to demonstrate their knowledge, but for the audience to test their own smarts as well; the public is encouraged to take part in the event and cheer on their favorite team. Will Ontonagon?s Rolling Boulders be able to extend their hold on the trophy, or will Chassell?s Perfect Pouncing Panther Paws claw their way to victory? Could the Whiz Kids from Lake Linden outwit the competition? It guarantees to be a fun and educational evening.

This event is part of the Fourth Thursday in History program sponsored by Keweenaw National Historical. Additional support is being provided by the Calumet Theatre, the Isle Royale Natural History Association, Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission, and Homestead Graphics in Baraga. The Fourth Thursday in History series arranges public presentations on popular, little-known, and frequently unusual aspects of Copper Country history. As well, workshops highlight techniques for the preservation of historic documents, photographs and structures. Topics also include current research concerning regional history. Presentations are scheduled in venues throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula, particularly at historic sites associated with specific topics. Sponsoring partners are always being sought for the series, especially local historical societies, genealogical societies, social organizations and school groups.

Presentations are free and open to the public. For further information, including specific directions to this event, contact Keweenaw National Historical Park at (906) 337-3168.

Announcement of Future Fourth Thursday in History Events:

May 25, 2006 - Powwow History and Regalia, Summer Cohen, Tribal Historic Preservation Office, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

June 22, 2006 - The Union Building Restored, Brian Hoduski and Karl Benda, Keweenaw National Historical Park


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