Students Produce Award-Winning Documentary on Ten Crucial Days

November 30th, 2018 News and Events
John Weaver and Arjun Agarwal, creators of “The 10-Day Stand” documentary


While you’re attending the First Crossing on December 9, be sure to stop into the Visitor Center to catch a screening of The 10-Day Stand that Defined a Free Country. This 10-minute film will be shown on the hour from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Visitor Center.

John Weaver and Arjun Agarwal (pictured) produced The 10-Day Stand for National History Day in 2017 when they were eighth-graders at Lawrence Middle School in Lawrenceville, NJ.

“Each year, I would have students conduct an in-depth research project modeled on the National History Day format,” says Priscilla Taylor, who taught Agarwal and Weaver through the school’s gifted program.

National History Day is an academic research competition that invites students in grades six through 12 to create websites, exhibits, documentaries, performances, or papers on the historical topic of their choice that supports the annual theme. In 2017, the theme was “Taking a Stand in History.”

Agarwal and Weaver set out to document the period of the Revolutionary War referred to as the Ten Crucial Days. Beginning with the crossing and ending January 3, 1777, this period turned the tide of the Revolutionary War.

Agarwal and Weaver filmed their footage at several reenactments, including one at Washington Crossing Historic Park.

They also interviewed prolific history writer David Hackett Fischer, perhaps best known for Washington’s Crossing (Oxford University Press, 2004), which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for History.

Taylor didn’t require her students to enter the competition, but Agarwal and Taylor did.

The 10-Day Stand advanced to the state level in New Jersey, received several prestigious prizes, including recognition by the Daughters of the American Revolution, and was honored at George Washington’s headquarters in Morristown, NJ, by an American Revolution roundtable organization.

Now sophomores, Agarwal attends Lawrenceville High School and Weaver attends The Lawrenceville School. Both will be at the December 9 reenactment.