HOOPER -- Genius Albert Einstein walked in with his buddy, industrialist Henry Ford.
Dancer Isadora Duncan and anthropologist Jane Goodall made an unlikely pair, but the Lincolns, Mary Todd and Abraham, looked more natural together.
Except that all the notables seemed remarkably young and lively, and President Lincoln seemed just a tad shorter than his reputed 6-foot 4-inches.
One-hundred-twenty Freedom Elementary School fifth-graders this week participated in a history fair, each one taking on the character of a person important to history. Students researched their randomly assigned notables, prepared posters and reports, and appeared costumed as their subjects at an assembly for teachers, parents and their fellow students.
"I was a teacher for 10 years, but quit because I found I was getting a lot less pay than the male teachers," said "Susan B. Anthony," as portrayed by Skylar Simonson, 10.
"He was not much to look at," said "Mary Todd Lincoln," of husband Abe, "but his heart was as big as his arms were long." Mary Todd was portrayed by Maggie Hislop, 11.
"Molly Brown," played by Hayley Cook, 11, shared tales of her sudden wealth, her broken marriage, and her success at raising $10,000 in donations from wealthy Titanic survivors like herself to give to poor survivors who had lost everything.
Author "Laura Ingalls Wilder," played by Makenzi Heuck, 11, talked about moving six times in her life, and caring for her daughter, Rose, and her ailing husband, Almanzo.
Sitting in the background, "Einstein" struggled to keep his wild gray wig in place, and first lady "Jackie Kennedy" adjusted the pearl necklace she wore with her black sheath dress, her eyes hidden behind oversized sunglasses. "President John F. Kennedy" avoided his partner's gaze.
"They always grumble when they are assigned to be married to someone," said teacher Karleen Knudson.
Since the kindergartensixth grade school opened in 2002, fifth-graders have put on an annual history fair. Most of the costumes are provided at a deep discount by Ye Olde Costume Shoppe, of Roy, which has worked with Freedom Elementary students since the first history fair. Some costumes are sewn by parents and others pieced together from thrift-shop purchases.
"The kids learn how to do research, how to make posters and how to present what they have learned," Knudson said. "They get especially excited about their costumes. The younger kids look forward to when it will be their turn, and the sixth-graders have happy memories of the history fair. I've talked to students who went on to junior high and high school who could still tell you all about the historical person they researched."
Besides Knudson, participating teachers are Gloria Ladeau, Monica Widdison and Riko Reese.
"I teach social studies," Reese said. "And I can lecture, and we can assign them to read, but when we actually assign them to 'be' people, history, as they say, comes alive. They embrace their characters, and they identify with the real human beings who shaped our country."
Skylar admitted to being a wee bit more nervous than the real Susan B. Anthony might have been.
"She was a strong woman," Skylar said. "She was brave, and she did a lot of really cool things."