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About Section Highlights:

When is National History Day?

History of National History Day

In 1974 Dr. David Van Tassel, a history professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, wanted to reinvigorate the teaching and learning of history in elementary and secondary schools. With the help of his colleagues in the department of history, he created a one-day contest for students to showcase their historical research called National History Day. Over the next few years, the contest expanded throughout Ohio and into surrounding Midwestern states. By 1980 NHD had grown into a national organization and in 1992 NHD moved its headquarters from Cleveland to the Washington, D.C., area.

Initial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and subsequent funding from foundations and corporations allowed NHD to reach thousands more students each year. Today, 2 million students, teachers, parents, and volunteers from across the country are engaged in NHD annually. While the contest remains the core of NHD, the program also offers workshops, seminars and curricular materials for teachers and summer internships for students.

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