National History Day special prizes (Or, how your project can help you win a trip to Ireland)

2013 NHD Opening Ceremonies - Kentucky group shot

Each year, National History Day offers a number of special prizes which students can compete for at the national contest in June. Such prizes include awards for projects on Naval History, African-American History, Asian-American History, Labor History, Leadership, and Irish or Irish-American History. Many of these prizes come with monetary awards or even trips (if your project wins for Irish or Irish-American History you get to go to Ireland! How cool!). Last year, Kentucky had students win the “George Washington Leadership in History” award.

This year, National History Day introduced a brand new special prize in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities. This prize was designed to honor a student’s use of their online digital newspaper database, Chronicling America, which is produced in partnership with the Library of Congress. This database features U.S. newspapers published from 1836 until 1922. It’s a great resource for students, teachers, and other researchers; that features nearly 300,000 results for Kentucky alone! To be eligible students are expected to show each use of Chronicling America in their annotated bibliography. It is a prize awarded to one Junior and one Senior division project.

Here at KHS, we are very pleased to announce that a Kentucky student had one of the first two projects selected to win this prize. Joanna Slusarewicz, a high school student from Fayette County, won the first Chronicling America prize for a Senior division project. Her documentary, It’s a Jungle Out There: Upton Sinclair Turns the Tables on the Chicago Meatpackers and the Food Industry, featured extensive use of the database. Check out the article that NEH posted featuring the winners!

Joanna Slusarewicz with NEH represetative after winning their Chronicling America prize

View a list of special prizes that NHD offers and see if  you have a topic in mind for your History Day project next year that would allow you to compete for one should you qualify for the national contest in June (it’s never too early to start thinking about your topic!). For instance, if you want to try to win a trip to Ireland, you could do your project on the Bloody Monday riots in Louisville in 1855 and how they impacted immigrant rights or even the responsibility of a city to protect its citizens. Remember, the theme is “Rights and Responsibilities in History”.

Keep an eye out for updates to that list, too! One of our students this year, Emma Roach-Barrette from Menifee County, is diligently working to encourage the International Spy Museum to sponsor a new prize!

Happy Researching!

Cheryl (aka, your History Day in Kentucky Coordinator)

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