Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

For Immediate Release: June 20, 2002
CONTACT: Mark Adams, 816-268-8200 , Ext. 267
Education Coordinator


Harrisonville student places third at National History Day contest

Carol Bohl and Brian HawkinsBrian Hawkins from Harrisonville Christian School, placed third in the nation at the National History Day contest with his documentary, James Scott, Ragtime Composer; A Revolution in Music.

National History Day (NHD) is a year-long, non-profit education program dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of history in elementary and secondary schools.

National History Day makes history come alive for students who participate in the NHD program. The NHD student competition is the nation's oldest and most highly regarded humanities contest for students in grades 6-12. This academic challenge engages more than 700,000 young people annually.

Brian, who won first place in the Missouri state contest and also won two special prizes, the Strickland African American History Prize and the Loman Cansler Folk History Prize. His teacher is Carol Bohl. He had previously qualified from the Greater Kansas City area contest at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library.

Students compete first at the regional level (Greater Kansas City). First, second and third-place entrants qualify for the state finals in Columbia. First and second place winners at Columbia proceed to the national finals in Washington, D.C. each June. Prizes, certificates, and scholarships are available at each level of the competition.

National History Day is one of the rare programs that provides students the critical thinking and research skills used in all subject areas. For more than 25 years the NHD program has promoted systemic educational reform related to the teaching and learning of history in America's schools.

National History Day provides teachers with training and curriculum materials to help educators exceed education standards. The NHD program rewards innovation and interdisciplinary approaches in the classroom.

More than nine million students have participated in the NHD program and gone on to careers in business, law, medicine, teaching and countless other disciplines where they are putting into practice the skills and knowledge gained through NHD. More than two million people are engaged in the NHD program annually.

National History Day programs are established in 47 states and the District of Columbia. NHD engages all types of students-public, private, parochial and home-school students; urban, suburban and rural students.

Any student in grades 6-12 may enter the national contest in either junior (grades 6-8) or senior (grades 9-12) divisions.

Established in 1974 as a local contest at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio to help reinvigorate the teaching and learning of history in elementary and secondary schools. The program quickly expanded throughout Ohio and into surrounding Midwestern states before becoming a national program in 1980. With initial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, NHD expanded during the 1980s and 1990s. While the competition itself remains the core of the program, NHD has expanded its services to provide workshops, seminars, and curriculum materials for teachers and summer internships for students.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is proud to be a sponsor of the National History Day program and host of the regional competition for the Greater Kansas City area (Missouri).

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware Street in Independence, Missouri. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and $3 for children 6-18 years old. For more information, call the 1-800-833-1225 or the web site at www.trumanlibrary.org.

The Harry S. Truman Library is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

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