What do McDonald's, the military draft and the John Deere steel plow all have in common?
Well they were among the fascinating topics that Estherville Lincoln Central students exhibited during the National History Day open house Thursday at the Estherville Lincoln Central Middle School library.
Advisor Jean Hoffman said eight students made it through district competition and are going on to state competition where they'll present their projects at the State Historical Society building in Des Moines.
Senior competitors going to Des Moines April 29 are Season Burton, Calvin Lynch, Becca Lair and Bailey Adolph while those going to the May 6 junior competition are Suzy Anderson, Vanessa Vedder, Ieshia Klein and Lizzy Herrick.
Lynch said the theme of this year's competition is Turning Points in History: People, Places and Ideas.
"Because of that, history changed or it had an impact on how people thought," Lynch said.
Calvin Lynch's project was Walt Disney's impact on animation. Lynch said Disney made the first color cartoon and created animated films.
"I wanted to do something a lot of people wouldn't think of," Vedder said of her choice of topic - McDonald's. Vedder said Mac and Dick McDonald opened their first restaurant in 1940 then sold all their rights to Ray Kroc in 1954.
Anderson's interest in farming led to her topic - the John Deere steel plow invented in 1837, a great improvement over the former iron plow.
Anderson said the plow was first manufactured in Moline, Ill., now the world headquarters for John Deere.
"I'm not a John Deere person," Anderson admitted. "I'm a Case I-H person. My mom's the one that's the John Deere person."
Burton's project was the impact of the Kodak Brownie box camera. George Eastman's first camera came out in 1888. When the Brownie followed in February 1900, its affordability made it immensely popular.
"They were something that everybody could have in thir home," Burton said.
Klein's Web-based project was Alexander Fleming's invention of penicillin vaccine which she said made a huge impact on treating soldiers' wounds in World War II.
Adolph's Web project was on the military draft, something that she said started during the Civil War.
"It was a big deal in the Vietnam War," she said. "It was a very rebellious time."
Herrick's documentary video on Sesame Street told how the children's program that first aired Nov. 10, 1969 broke lots of new ground, eventually reaching 140 countries.
And Lair's film documentary on Edward R. Murrow told how the news icon helped shape national opinion.
"He was so strong in his beliefs," Lair said. "He couldn't be swayed in his opinion."