WASHINGTON, D.C.— National History Day® is now accepting applications for the 2017 Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom® Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute. This highly competitive program accepts only 15 student and teacher pairs for an immersive experience of learning both in Washington, D.C. and on the beaches of Normandy, France. Funded through a generous donation from Mr. Albert H. Small, the institute covers nearly all expenses for accepted students and teachers including travel, visits to historic sites, and lodging in both Europe and Washington, D.C.

The Normandy Sacrifice for Freedom®: Albert H. Small Student Teacher Institute teaches students about the sacrifices and challenges faced by U.S. service members during and after the D-Day landings. Each student selects a single service member, called a Silent Hero®, from his or her home state or territory who died in the line of duty.

“At National History Day we strive to bring history to life, and few things do that better than the narratives of these Silent Heroes,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “By learning about the stories behind each of these Silent Heroes, the students and teachers truly come to understand the magnitude of the sacrifice for freedom made by these brave Americans.”

Students spend months researching their Silent Heroes under the guidance of their teachers. In June 2017, all 15 teams travel to Washington, D.C. Their first event is a welcome dinner with the White House Historical Association. Then, historians and archivists guide the students and teachers through primary source material from World War II at the National Archives. Guest historians and speakers teach them about the importance of D-Day and Operation Overlord to the outcome of the war. Finally, teams journey to Normandy, France to walk in the footsteps of their Silent Hero and learn about D-Day where it happened. On the final day, students read powerful graveside eulogies to their Silent Heroes at the Normandy American Cemetery.

Applications for this prestigious program are due by November 28, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET. All participants must apply as one team and must be available to travel June 17-29, 2017. Students must be either a sophomore or junior in high school as of fall 2016. All applications must be fully completed and submitted as a single PDF document. The application, and more information, can be found online at

About National History Day: NHD is a non-profit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local and affiliate levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, Jostens, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Joe Weider Foundation, and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information, visit

Lynne O'Hara
Director of Programs
Phone: 484-919-2595
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