NATIONAL HISTORY DAY LAUNCHES WHO THEY WERE PROGRAM IN SUPPORT OF U.S. WORLD WAR I CENTENNIAL COMMISSION'S EDUCATIONAL AND COMMEMORATIVE EFFORTS
09/20/2018

NATIONAL HISTORY DAY LAUNCHES WHO THEY WERE PROGRAM IN SUPPORT OF U.S. WORLD WAR I CENTENNIAL COMMISSION'S EDUCATIONAL AND COMMEMORATIVE EFFORTS

Students can create narratives about their local WWI generation to be presented at centennial commemorations in their schools and communities.

WASHINGTON – National History Day®, a partner of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission announced the launch of Who They Were, a program that mobilizes students and educators across the country to learn about their community’s World War I story and to participate in local centennial observations.

Using the Who They Were Activity Toolkit, available at nhd.org/whotheywere, middle and high school students can create a short narrative about their community’s World War I generation and present it at their school or at a local event. The activity can be done by individuals or groups, either in a classroom or after-school program setting, using the Who They Were Educator Guide, or as a student-driven project. Completed Who They Were narratives can be added to an online map, connecting students to the wider World War I centennial commemoration and allowing a global audience to learn about the U.S. World War I generation.

Who They Were is being launched as part of the U.S. World War I Commission’s commemorative efforts leading up to the centennial of the Armistice that ended World War I, on November 11, 2018. Educators and students can participate through the end of 2018 and into the summer of 2019, in parallel with local homecoming anniversaries and other community-based centennial events. Following the end of the centenary period, the Activity Toolkit will continue to be available online.

“Who They Were is an opportunity for students to participate in the centennial commemoration of World War I,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Together with the U.S. World War I Commission, we are excited to help students learn about the generation of Americans that participated in the Great War 100 years ago.”

“The Commission is excited to work with National History Day to bring Who They Were to student and educators in communities across America," said Dr. Libby O’Connell, Commissioner WWI Centennial Commission. "By participating in Who They Were, young people across the country will join the effort to learn more about the communities of the men and women who served our country 100 years ago.”

To learn more about Who They Were, or to download the Activity Toolkit and Educator Guide, visit nhd.org/whotheywere.

About National History Day (NHD): NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park that seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, and Southwest Airlines. For more information, visit nhd.org.

About the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission: The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was created by Congress in 2013 to provide education programs, public outreach, and guidance for commemorative events regarding America's involvement in WWI, which many see as The War That Changed the World. Honorary Chairs include all five living former U.S. Presidents; the Honorable Madeleine Albright; and the Honorable Colin L. Powell, among others. The World War One Centennial Commission is creating the National WWI Memorial in Washington, DC through private donation. No public funds may be used. To learn more about the World War One Centennial Commission and its work, visit ww1cc.org.

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