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Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom
The Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute
June 21-July 3, 2014

Albert Small Institute banner with official logo


“But when the test came, when freedom had to be fought for or abandoned, they fought. They were soldiers of democracy. They were the men of D-Day, and to them we owe our freedom.”
-Stephen Ambrose

Read about the 2011 Normandy Scholars Institute in Soldier magazine here!

Summer Institute 2014

Albert H. SmallNational History Day announces an exciting and unique summer institute for teachers and students. In June 2014, fifteen student/teacher teams will engage in a rigorous study of D-Day and World War II. Students and teachers will be immersed in lectures presented by leading World War II historians, participate in a scholarly study of the war memorials in the D.C. area and walk in the footsteps of history on the beaches of Normandy. Students will study and make presentations on various aspects of the Normandy Campaign. The last day in Normandy will be a day of remembrance. The students will lay a wreath at the American Cemetery and present eulogies based on individual pre-institute research of a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Institute participants will read eight books in the spring in addition to conducting a historical study of a soldier buried at the American Cemetery in Normandy.  Students and teachers should be prepared for at least ten hours of work per week in preparation for the summer institute.

Application Process for Teams of Albert Small Scholars

The teachers will be selected by the National History Day committee based on the following materials:   

  • Complete and fill out the application cover sheet. Complete with teacher, student, and parent signatures
  • Teacher's resume (2 pages max)
  • An essay explaining the applicants’ interest in the institute, stating the applicants’ philosophy of teaching, including how students are engaged in historical research in the classroom now and confirming the applicants’ willingness to make the two required presentations and other school based assignments. Please include a list of current classes and grade level being taught. (2 pages, double-spaced max)
  • A letter of support from the applicant's supervisor that attests to employment status in 2014-2015 and agrees to the applicant's making two presentations at workshops or conferences and participate in National History Day beginning in the fall 2014.
  • Student and teacher medical releases. Student medical release / Teacher medical release
  • A letter of introduction of the selected student by the teacher.  Who the student is academically and why this particular student was chosen to be your team member?
  • The student essay submitted to be considered for the program or another student writing sample. (2 pages max)

Students will be selected by the teacher (suggested process):

  • Inform all students about the Normandy Institute (sophomores or juniors only).
  • Require a written essay from the interested students about why they would be a good candidate and their dedication to the process.
  • Form a small selection committee of colleagues
  • Create a rubric of criteria for selection (grade point average, evidence of responsibility, dedication to learning opportunities)  
  • Select the student 


Travel, room and board will be covered by the institute.  

  • The institute covers room and board (double occupancy) during the institute, field trips, international flights, and materials. Teachers will room with teachers and students will room with students.
  • Professional readings.

Participants will:

  • Pay for the airline tickets and transportation costs to and from George Washington University and any other costs incurred for travel, e.g. passport, travel insurance. 

Because of the physicality of the institute all participants must be able to stand for 45 minutes and walk for at least two miles. In addition, the complexity of the institute’s logistics does not allow for families to accompany the selected participants.

Deadline for Applications:

  • Complete applications for the 2014 Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom must be received no later than midnight on Monday December 2, 2013.  Please complete all requirements, scan into a PDF document, and email completed application to Lynne O'Hara Completed applications will be acknowledged via email within 24 hours of receipt.
Applicants selected for the 2014 institute will be notified via phone or email no later than Wednesday, December 18th, 2013. Questions may be directed to Lynne O'Hara at

Putting a Face to the Sacrifice of our World War II Veterans.

The major assignment for the students and teachers who went to Normandy was the Fallen Soldier Project. Each student/teacher team researched a soldier from their home state who fought at Normandy and paid the ultimate sacrifice. After exhaustive research the students and teachers created a website dedicated to their soldier's life and ultimate sacrifice. Please click on the web sites and see what stellar work the students and teachers did and read the poignant eulogies to their soldiers that were read at the graves of their unsung heroes.

PFC Pedro Rodón
Created by Charlyne Cuyar

Corporal Thomas Reed Smith, Jr.
Created by Karee Wicks

Staff Sergeant Harold John Ward
Created by Riley Ries

PFC William D. Dormire
Created by Seamus Ryan-Johnson

Sergeant Julius A. Houck
Created by David Huston

Bernard L. "Barney" Toobin
Created by Hannah Aris

First Sergeant Virgil "Bud" Brown
Created by Emma Campbell

Corporal Alton D. Poe
Created by Jenna Gilbertson

First Lieutenant Robert M. Follensbee
Created by Andrea Flores

Chief Motor Machinist's Mate George A. Kelly
Created by Abigail Woolsey

2nd Lt. Benjamin Hodges
Created by Benjamin Smart

Staff Sgt. Frederick D. Smith
Created by Timothy Cohn

First Lieutenant Roy Eisele
Created by Morgan Owen

Sergeant Allen P. Moberly
Created by Bradley Shoopman

PFC Virgil John Tangborn
Created by Mattilan Martin

NHD Normandy Web Site Archive
See past Normandy Scholar Web Sites on the New NHD Normandy Web Site Archive Page

National Contest Information

June 14 - 18