National History Day

National History Day (NHD) is a contest that is held annually in which students research a historical topic pertaining to a yearly theme. It’s sponsored by a non-profit education organization based in College Park, Maryland. National History Day, orignated in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1974. It started off as local contest, then expanded quickly throughout Ohio and into the Midwestern states. It then became a national program in 1980, with millions of students participating in History Day. Others, like parents or volunteers, support the program by being contest judges, workshop presenters, mentors, and advisers to students and teachers. This year, the National History Day theme is Triumph & Tradegy in History.

Triumph is: a victory or notable success like:

  • What is being overcome?
  • What were the goals and objectives?

Tradegy is: a disastrous event like:

  • What was impacted?
  • What was harmed?
  • Was it the tragedy man made or Natural?

An example of a topic that fits this year’s theme, would be: the triangle shirt waist factory fire. It was a tradegy that lead to a triumph. Another area that would produce multiple possible topics would be slavery as it was one event, but it has multiple connections to the theme. Lastly, the sinking of the Titanic could lead to a possible topic as it was a triumph that lead to a tradegy.

To get started on History Day, here are a few tips

Step one: Choose a topic

  • Learn about this year’s history theme
  • Choose a topic that interests you and connects with the History Day theme.

Step two: Research the topic:

  • You are required to provide primary and secondary sources. A primary source is something that was created during the event and a secondary source is something created after the events.
  • Start researching Online and do a bibliography of the sources you find to keep track of them.

Step Three: Choose a history day category

  • Documenary (10 minutes long)
  • Performances (10 minutes)
  • Website (1, 200 Addition)
  • Paper (1,500 or 2,500 words)
  • Exhibit (500 words)

Step four: Work on project

  • Set time aside so you can work on your History Day project.
  • If you’re working with a partner make sure you get together outside out school to work on your project.
  • Practice what you’re going to say, so you can be ready to talk about your project.

Step five: Competitions

  • School-level competition – January 31, 2019, at Highland Park High School, St. Paul, in the cafeteria.
  • Regional Competition – March 9, 2019, at Johnson Highschool, St. Paul.
  • State Competition – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
  • National Competition – University  of Maryland, College Park, MD.

For more information, please visit these websites:

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