NHD Projects in the News

When you learn of a National History Day Contest project that goes above and beyond, let us know.

We want to share in the excitement and make sure the world knows the power of history.

Occasionally a National History Day Contest project can take on a life of its own, changing the lives of students, teachers, the community, or even the country. We need your help to tell the world about these amazing stories and demonstrate the importance and power of history. When you hear of a spectacular project, piece of research, or a relationship that goes well beyond the normal NHD project, let us know. You can call, e-mail (communications@nhd.org), Facebook message, or Tweet.

A few examples of the amazing stories from the past:

• In 2015, a group from Massachusetts did a website project about the Boston mafia. In searching for a primary source, they wrote a letter to write to James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious Boston mob boss. To their great surprise, he wrote back, from a prison in Florida. In his letter he advised them to pick a different topic and not to make the same mistakes he had made. This letter was the first public acknowledgement of regret from Mr. Bulger. It was covered by major news outlets across the country.

• In 1996, students from Kansas conducted research on the Central High School integration in 1957. A famous photograph of the integration shows a young woman being harassed by a crowd blocking her from going to school. Their research led the students to the subject of that photograph, Elizabeth Eckford. Their interest in her story encouraged her to make her first public appearance in more than 40 years. She is now an avid public speaker.

• In 2005, Robbie Turriff made it to the National Contest, and won a prize, while his father was deployed in Iraq. As the student crossed the stage to accept his award, a proud father watched him via the live stream of the awards ceremony online. His father, Dennis Turriff said, “It was very surreal watching Robbie while in a combat zone. I was in the process of contributing to history and he was being recognized for a project on history.”