Kenneth E. Behring National Contest

The 2017 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest will be held June 11 - 15, 2017.

The Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest is the final stage of a series of contests at local and state/affiliate levels. Students begin their journey by presenting their projects in classrooms, schools, and districts around the world. Top entries are invited to the state/affiliate level contests. The top two entries in every category at the state/affiliate level are then invited to the National Contest, the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. The contest is named for Mr. Behring in recognition of his generous support of history education and National History Day®.

About the Contest
Annual Theme
Contest Winners
About Kenneth E. Behring
About the Contest

Each year nearly 3,000 students with their families and teachers gather at the University of Maryland, College Park for the week-long event. These enthusiastic groups come from all over the United States, Guam, American Samoa, and international schools in China, Korea, South Asia, and Central America. The NHD excitement can be felt across the campus. After spending months on project research and preparation, and competing at local and affiliate contests, these students are eager to show their hard work at the national level.

Annual Theme

Each year NHD selects a theme for the contest. Although you may select a topic on any aspect of local, regional, national, or world history, your project’s research and conclusions must relate clearly to the annual theme. Be careful to limit the scope of your topic to focus on an issue that can be explained and interpreted within the category limits of size and time.

Contest Winners

At the National Contest, first, second, and third place awards are presented to the top entries in each category and division. All categories have a junior (middle school) and senior (high school) division. Each category, aside from papers, also has a group and an individual category. First place awards are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and those students earn the designation, NEH Scholar.

In addition to category awards, there are scholarships, outstanding affiliate entry awards, and special prizes. Three high school participants will receive full or partial scholarships from Case Western Reserve University, Chaminade University, and the University of Maryland, College Park. These awards are chosen by representatives of the universities. Two entries from each NHD affiliate receive an “Outstanding Affiliate Entry” award sponsored by the National Park Service. Numerous special prizes are awarded through the generous sponsorship of individuals, groups, and organizations.

About Kenneth E. Behring

Kenneth E. Behring's generous gift to National History Day® helps more than 600,000 students around the world develop research, presentation, and leadership skills. Nearly 3,000 attend the national finals for the annual contest at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest in June.

Mr. Behring is a successful businessman, investor, and philanthropist who built his fortune from the ground up with hard work and perseverance. Along the way he also discovered the joy and fulfillment that comes with giving back and participating in charitable activities. "When you show somebody you care, they give you that big smile and tears run down their face; it's something that money can't buy."

Mr. Behring is dedicated to education, including history education, noting that, "there is nothing more central to the education process than learning about the individuals, events and movements that have shaped our way of life."

He shares National History Day's philosophy that by studying the past, students connect historical and current events, helping young people become knowledgeable and active citizens. Mr. Behring's generosity helps National History Day® continue to help the leaders of tomorrow hone the critical thinking and research skills necessary for success in college and all of their future endeavors.

Find Your State/Affiliate

For contact info, contest dates, and resources

NHD Rule Book

Contact your regional or affiliate coordinator to learn if any rules have been revised since the publication of this rule book, and for more information on topics, sources, and deadlines.