Special Prizes at the National Contest

Special prizes are an excellent way for organizations and individuals to reward exceptional projects that explore specific areas of history at the National History Day Contest. Below is a list of current special prizes available to participants of the National Contest. To find out about special prizes at affiliate and local contests, contact your affiliate coordinator.

To see past special prize winners, visit NHD Awards.

African-American History Prize
This prize, sponsored by the National Park Service, is given in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the study of African-American history. The prize is awarded to an outstanding student project in both the Junior and Senior divisions that documents and analyzes the African-American experience. The subject(s) can be an individual, group(s), a right, challenge(s), triumph(s), or any topic that has historical significance, influence or impact. The project should explain why the subject(s) is/are important and place it/them in historical context.

American Labor History
The American Labor Studies Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to collect, analyze, create and disseminate labor history and labor studies curricula and related materials. The American Labor Studies Center prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category, in either division, that involves an aspect of American labor history, including the role that individuals and/or labor organizations have played in American economic, political, legislative, social or cultural life.

Asian-American History Prize
This prize, sponsored by the National Park Service, is given in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the study of Asian-American history. The prize is awarded to an outstanding student project in both the Junior and Senior divisions that documents and analyzes the Asian-American experience. The subject(s) can be an individual, group(s), a right, challenge(s), triumph(s), or any topic that has historical significance, influence or impact. The project should explain why the subject(s) is/are important and place it/them in historical context.

Captain Ken Coskey Naval History Prize
This prize is sponsored by the Naval Historical Foundation, which has focused on preservation, education and commemoration of naval history since 1926. The prize is named for the late Captain Ken Coskey, a Vietnam War combat aviator and Prisoner of War, and former executive director of the Naval Historical Foundation. During his fifteen years in leadership roles at the Naval Historical Center and the Naval Historical Foundation, he became a strong supporter of National History Day. The award is given to the best entry on naval history in any category and both divisions.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers Prize
Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), this prize is awarded in both the Junior and Senior divisions to an outstanding entry in any category that utilizes the newspaper resources that are available on the Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers web site. Each content item from Chronicling America (article, image, etc.) used for the entry must be noted in the Primary Sources section of the Annotated Bibliography and follow proper NHD citation guidelines for Web content. The Chronicling America web site provides free access to over 10 million pages of select digitized historic newspapers published between 1836 and 1922. It is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a long-term partnership between NEH and the Library of Congress to digitize representative historic newspapers from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Chronicling America currently has digitized newspapers from 39 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, with new content added regularly, including newspapers published in foreign languages starting with Spanish, French, German, and Italian. Primary sources are not limited to newspaper articles, but also include advertisements, images, literary prose, and other content that appears in historic newspapers. In addition to providing basic factual details about an event or topic, historic newspapers can shed light on local perspectives about a major historical event, insight into social or cultural practices, traditions, political opinions, economic circumstances, and a wealth of other historical information. For more information on NEH visit their homepage at http://www.neh.gov/.

Civil War History Prize
Sponsored by the Civil War Trust, a non-profit organization that promotes appreciation and stewardship of our nation’s historical, cultural, and environmental heritage through preservation of significant Civil War battlefields and supporting preservation and education programs. This prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category and from either division which focuses on the history of the American Civil War.

Corps of Discovery Prize
Sponsored by the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, this prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category, in both the Junior and Senior divisions, that best utilizes original sources [journals, letters, newspapers, maps, government records and/or oral histories, etc.] to focus on the Corps of Discovery. Topics could include the Corps of Discovery, an individual expedition member, government official, or tribal leader, natural history, international politics and exploration, cartography, the sciences, leadership, diplomacy, or the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail or a related historic site. For more information about the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, visit: www.lewisandclark.org.

Discovery or Exploration in History
Sponsored by the Library of Congress, this prize is awarded in the junior and senior divisions for an outstanding project in any category on American or international discovery or exploration. The Elizabeth Ridgway fund was established in memory of Ms. Ridgway, Library of Congress Education Outreach Director, for her passion for history, students, education, and the Library of Congress.

Equality in History
Sponsored by Celie and Tabitha Niehaus, this prize is awarded in both the junior and senior divisions to an outstanding entry in any category that illuminates the history of human equality, especially with respect to the role that individuals and/or organizations have played in the efforts for isolated groups (e.g., LGBT, women, and girls) to have the same status in certain respects, often including civil, voting, and property rights, freedom of speech, marriage and gender equality, and equal access to social goods and services.

George Washington Leadership in History Prize
George Washington stood at the center of the world stage through the second half or the 18th century and has continued to do so since his death in 1799. He played a pivotal role in every major event surrounding the founding of our nation in his roles as Commander in Chief, president at the Constitutional Convention, citizen farmer, and the President of the United States of America. His actions have been examples of civic responsibility, patriotism, and historic complexity over time and remain relevant in national dialogue today. The George Washington Leadership in History Prize is presented by the Washington Library at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, this $1000 prize will be awarded to outstanding projects in both the junior and senior categories that that demonstrate a clear understanding of the ideas and events defined by Washington’s life, leadership, and legacy. In addition to outstanding historical interpretation, we award special consideration to projects that seek innovative and compelling ways to tell the story of George Washington so that his timeless and relevant life are accessible to the world.

Global Peace Prize
The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is an independent national institute, founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. USIP is committed to increasing the knowledge and skills of young people so that they understand how conflicts are resolved, peace is achieved and how they can make a difference. This prize will be awarded in both the Junior and Senior Divisions to an outstanding entry that demonstrates America’s commitment to building peace around the world by highlighting the work of individual citizens, organizations and/or the U.S. government. Learn more at: www.usip.org.

History in the Federal Government
Sponsored by the Society for History in the Federal Government, a national professional organization open to all that are interested in federal history programs and the history of all branches of the U.S. government. The prize is awarded to the best entry in any category, in either division, which illuminates the history of the American federal government.

History of Agriculture and Rural Life
Sponsored by the Agricultural History Society the prize is awarded to the best project in either division, in any category, focused on the history of agriculture and/or rural life in any country or time period. The Agricultural Historical Society was founded in 1919 to promote the study of the history of agriculture and rural life in America and throughout the world.

History of the Physical Sciences & Technology
The History of the Physical Sciences and Technology Prize is sponsored by the American Institute of Physics Niels Bohr Library & Archives, whose mission is to preserve and make known the history of physics and the physical sciences. The prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category, in both the Junior and Senior divisions, which explores a person or event important to the history of science and technology. The project should explain why the subject(s) is/are important and place it/them in historical context. (Note - projects related to the biological of psychological sciences are not included in this award.)

Immigration History Award
Sponsored by the Lombardo Family, this prize is given in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the study of Immigration history. The prize is awarded to an outstanding student project in either division that documents and analyzes Immigration to the United States. The subject(s) can be an individual, group(s), a right, challenge(s), triumph(s), or any topic that has historical significance, influence or impact. The project should explain why the subjects (s) is/are important and place it/them in historical context.

Irish or Irish-American History
Sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH) the prizes are awarded to two projects in either junior or senior divisions, in any category. The entries must demonstrate excellence in the study or presentation of Irish/Irish-American History. The AOH and LAOH are the oldest, largest and most prominent Irish Catholic fraternal organizations in the nation. Founded in New York and Pennsylvania in 1836, its membership exceeds 100,000. The medals awarded with these prizes are in honor of Commodore John Barry, USN (1745 – 1803) who was a native of Ireland and Founder of the U.S. Navy. The AOH award is two round trip tickets to Ireland or $2,000 and the LAOH Scholarship Assistance Award is $1,500. Awards given can both be in the same division.

Latino-American History Prize
Sponsored by the National Park Service, this prize is given in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the study of Latino-American history. The prize is awarded to an outstanding student project in both the Junior and Senior divisions that documents and analyzes the Latino-American experience. The subject(s) can be an individual, group(s), a right, challenge(s), triumph(s), or any topic that has historical significance, influence or impact. The project should explain why the subject(s) is/are important and place it/them in historical context.

Lee Allen History of Baseball Award
Sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research, an association of over 6,300 individuals who enjoy reading, writing, talking, and learning about all aspects of baseball. The Lee Allen prize honors the best entry in any category and in either division relating to baseball which best demonstrates research skills, accuracy, and an appreciation of the national pastime. The prize is named in honor of Lee Allen, the historian at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum from 1950-1969.

Legacy Prize
Sponsored by the Creativity Foundation, this prize is awarded to a student in recognition of their unique creative talents and dedication to public service. Students are nominated by their teachers and must compete at the national contest to be considered. The award winner is decided on by a council of NHD state coordinators.

The National Library of Medicine’s History of Medicine
Sponsored by the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, this prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category, in either the junior or senior division, that demonstrates an appreciation and knowledge of the history of medicine.

Native American History Prize
Sponsored by the National Park Service, this prize is given in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the study of Native American history. The prize is awarded to an outstanding student project in both the Junior and Senior divisions that documents and analyzes the Native American experience. The subject(s) can be an individual, group(s), a right, challenge(s), triumph(s), or any topic that has historical significance, influence or impact. The project should explain why the subject(s) is/are important and place it/them in historical context.

United States Marine Corps History
Sponsored by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting the study of Marine Corps history and traditions, this prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category in either the junior or senior division that demonstrates an appreciation of Marine Corps History.

U.S. Constitution Award
Sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration, the prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category and in both Junior and Senior divisions that uses the records of the Federal government to either illuminate the creation and ratification of the U.S. Constitution or to focus on Constitutional issues throughout American History.

White House History
Sponsored by the White House Historical Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the Executive Mansion, this prize is awarded to an outstanding project in both the Junior and Senior divisions that documents and analyzes White House history through such subjects as individual presidents, first ladies, residence staff, White House art and architecture, or important events that took place in the White House.

Women’s History
Sponsored by the National Women’s History Museum, this prize is awarded to the best project in either division, in any category, that focuses on the contribution, accomplishments, experiences, and perspectives of women in U.S. history.

World War I History Prize
The World War I History Prize, sponsored by the US World War I Centennial Commission, is given in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the study of World War I and its impact, nationally or internationally. The prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in both the junior and senior divisions that documents and analyzes a significant aspect of World War I, clearly demonstrating historical relevance to the theme of World War I.

World War II
Sponsored by the National World War II Museum, which illuminates the American experience during the WWII era with moving personal stories, historic artifacts and powerful interactive displays. This prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in both the junior and senior divisions that involves World War II history.