By Greg Means/Beacon Editor

Whitehall Mayor Debi Hillebrand reads a proclamation she presented to Whitehall High School student Allison Tate.

The City of Whitehall has proclaimed Allison Tate a National History Day winner.

Mayor Debi Hillebrand presented the Whitehall High School freshman a framed proclamation at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Tate just finished her 8th grade year when she competed at the National History Day Contest in June in College Park, Maryland. The theme for this year’s contest was Triumph & Tragedy in History.

Over half a million students entered the contest, with 3,000 advancing through local and state rounds to make it to the national contest.

Tate spent up to 350 hours on research over a six-month period on her project entitled, “A Bitter Pill to Swallow: Dr. Kelsey’s Triumph Hides and American Tragedy.”

According to the proclamation, her unique and diligent research earned her 1st place in the Junior Division Individual Exhibit Category.

While the drug, thalidomide, was marketed as a safe mild sleeping pill, it was not approved by the FDA. The student’s approach focused on tragic stories of the children born with deformities as a result of their mothers taking it as a “sample drug” during pregnancy.

The proclamation congratulated Tate as being the first National History Day champion from Whitehall, and the first from Michigan since 2001.