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A National History Day participant poses with his National History Day “Red Tails” exhibit during the competition held at the National Archives in Washington, DC, on April 11-12, 2018. (National Archives photo, Jeffrey Reed)

Archives Hosts National History Day

By Kerri Lawrence  | National Archives News

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2018 — More than 270 middle and high school students from Washington, DC, enriched their understanding of history this week with a visit to the National Archives, which hosted an educational event for National History Day.  

National History Day is a year-long academic program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression. By participating, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights, and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history.

According to the nonprofit educational organization National History Day, more than 2,000 DC-based students from public, charter, independent, and home schools participate each year—with more than half a million middle and high school students participating nationwide.

Every year, National History Day frames students’ research within a historical theme. The theme for this year’s competition was “Conflict and Compromise in History.” Students can then select their own research topic within that framework.

The theme itself is chosen for its broad application to world, national, or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past, according to DC National History Day coordinator Missy McNatt, an education specialist with the National Archives.

McNatt said that the theme offers a unique opportunity for students to think beyond the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates. Students are able to delve deeper through an active exploration of real-world challenges and problems into the historical content, developing perspective and understanding.

Read more, about National History Day at National Archives News, plus more photos!