The Zoot Suit Riots sparked a fashion trend in the late 40s and were the inspiration for a swing band song in the mid-nineties.
However, not many high school students know the historic details of the ethnic conflict. North Delta student Scott Peverell and Corwan Groux from Ontario interpreted and analyzed the 1944 riots that rocked Montreal with a series of large-scale brawls between servicemen, especially sailors, against civilians, including zoot suit-wearing youths.
Corwan and Scott competed head-to-head with students from across Canada in the 2012 Begbie Canadian History Contest and scored 100 per cent, .
The pair’s win not only earned them about $1,000 in prizes, but they’ll also be flown to Ottawa to collect a medal at the Governor General’s History Awards.
The Begbie contest is a competition that challenges senior students to use their knowledge of Canadian history. The two-hour contest consists of 25 questions based on major events in Canadian history from 1850 to the present. The emphasis is on critical thinking skills using sources such as political cartoons, paintings, posters, graphs, maps, statistics, songs, speeches, diaries, letters, newspaper articles and memoirs.
Last year Peverell scored 96 per cent in the competition, tying for third place.