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Apr 19, 2016 Washington, D.C.

Today, the White House Historical Association in partnership with the Washington Nationals announced the top five submissions to “White House at Bat: A Presidential History Challenge,” a program that challenges area students to “submit a plan for a documentary that addresses an important presidential decision made by one of the five permanent Racing Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, or William Howard Taft.”

The program asked individual students or student teams in the 9th-12th grades to examine the Constitutional powers of one of the five Racing Presidents, to focus on decision-making in the White House, and to consider how executive decisions throughout history have influenced the diverse constituencies that make up the American citizenry. The Racing Presidents are a fixture for fans during the fourth inning at Nationals Park.

The winners are:

  • In the George Washington category, winner Jeeyoon Lee of Hayfield High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, describes Washington’s precedent-setting decision to leave office after two terms, thus establishing the peaceful transition of power that defines our democracy.
  • For Thomas Jefferson, Anusha Jailwala, Vyoma Jani, Ritika Miryala, and Sahiti Nadimpalli from Northwest High School, Germantown, Maryland, take first place for their submission on Jefferson’s decision-making process in acquiring the Louisiana Territory in 1803.
  • Considering Abraham Lincoln, Northwest High School (Germantown, MD) students Janiece Jefferies, Yulong Jones, Natalie Morgan, and Pamela Steimel addressed two of Lincoln’s lesser-known presidential decisions, the signing of the Homestead and Pacific Railroad Acts in 1862.
  • Theodore Roosevelt was ably characterized by siblings Sam and Philip O’Sullivan from School Without Walls in Washington, D.C., who focused on TR’s monumental decision to promote the 1906 American Antiquities Act.
  • William Howard Taft’s decision to sign Proclamation 1225, which established toll rates on the Panama Canal, is the subject of Taj Ranna’s winning project from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria City, Virginia.

The winning teams will each be presented a $1,000 prize at an awards reception held at the White House Historical Association in early May. In addition to this event, videographers from the Washington Nationals will produce a short video for each winning project. These will be shared with fans at the game at Nationals Park on May 27, 2016 and showcased online.

“An important part of the White House Historical Association’s mission is education – to teach and tell the stories of White House history. This education partnership with the Washington Nationals has engaged these students and the results are terrific,” said Stewart D. McLaurin, White House Historical Association President.

“We’re thrilled to join the White House Historical Association in working to spark deeper interest in presidential history through White House at Bat,” said Gregory McCarthy, Washington Nationals Vice President, Community Engagement. “We know Nationals fans will be impressed with the winning projects when the films are broadcast in Nationals Park.”

The contest showcases the two organizations’ dedication to expanding their educational reach through collaboration, and fulfills the White House Historical Association’s mission to educate the public about White House history.

Read more about the winners and see their videos here.

Media Contacts:

Washington Nationals
Elizabeth Alexander

About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit

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