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National History Day Contest Underway

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A crowd gathers for the NHD Welcome Ceremony


On Sunday, June 10, the University of Maryland welcomed 2,800 of the nation’s best young historians to the National History Day Contest. Students from all 50 states plus 5 territories and other affiliates gathered for a celebration of history and to compete for prizes and scholarships.

Louisiana is represented by 47 students who qualified from the State Contest held at The National WWII Museum on April 21, 2012. These students created an impressive array of projects from topics local to Louisiana such as the Plaquemine Locks and the 1927 Mississippi River flood to international topics like the rise of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Siege of Mecca in 1979. Middle school students defended their work on Monday, and high school students interviewed on Tuesday.


The 1927 Flood by Rachel Ellis



Jalen Chatman prepares for his group performance on the Boston Tea Party

As is typical of the contest, World War II projects fill the exhibit hall, the documentary rooms, the web site interviews, the paper defenses, and the performance venues. This year’s theme of Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History made students think creatively to fit their WWII interests to the theme. Projects on rationing, the GI Bill, and military techniques were crafted to show the short and long term changes that resulted and the impacts of the topics.

A project on rationing in WWII with items from The National WWII Museum collection

An exhibit on the impacts of blitzkrieg


Awards will be announced on Thursday, June 14, 2012. First, second, and third place in each category receive prizes, and select special topics—including Best WWII Project—receive prizes as well. The Awards event will be streamed live courtesy of History beginning at 8:30am ET.

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