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Liza Kanne | Wisconsin Historical Society

Feature Story

Liza Kanne

Celebrating Wisconsin Visionaries, Changemakers, and Storytellers

Liza Kanne | Wisconsin Historical Society

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Ordinary people and small actions can make big changes

Future changemaker | Liza Kanne | 12-years-old

Liza, a young wavy haired blonde girl with blue eyes, smiles straight on towards the camera wearing a green t-shirt.

Liza Kanne is a 12-year-old student from Middleton, Wisconsin.

I like studying history because I like learning about people and their lives.

History is not just the story of big events; it is the story of how individual people made those events happen. When you look at the stories of the visionaries, changemakers, and storytellers shared this year by the Wisconsin Historical Society, and others throughout history, you can see their personal impact and what smaller things they did to make that impact.

While I was working on my project for National History Day, I found many people to help me along the way, especially archivists and librarians. I found that it was the smallest details that were the most exciting, like some of Julia Child's old grocery lists. These little details along the way show that famous people were mostly just like us and had their own personal lives as well.

Julia Child was a famous visionary who helped elevate the American cooking show genre, but she was also a real person. It wasn't just one big thing that led to her success. It was a lifetime of being courageous and trying new things.

Rosa Parks was famous for one bold action, but for many years before, she had made many daily choices that led her to be the changemaker she was, including being part of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters. When the moment of her bold action came, she was educated and prepared.

When I write about history, I am a storyteller. By showing that famous people were just like us, it shows that we have the power to be just like them. I hope that my writing about history through National History Day and other things will inspire other people to do the same.