Hundreds of thousands of middle- and high-school students have competed around the world at local and affiliate National History Day contests for a chance to travel to the nation’s capital and bring home history’s top honors in the annual Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. This week, the national competition began with several thousand finalists presenting their historical research projects at the University of Maryland, College Park.

“It was an honor to judge the 2016 National History Day Contest finalists,” said Esther Mackintosh, Federation President and a 2016 National History Day judge of Junior Group Performances. “Student projects were inspired and impressive. We applaud National History Day for their exceptional programs and the students for making history come back alive with new perspectives – congratulations to all the 2016 finalists and winners!”

The 2016 National History Day theme was Exploration, Encounter, Exchange and on June 16 the awards ceremony was streamed live on the National History Day website.  We are thrilled several students from council-sponsored contests in Maryland and Georgia took home top awards. View all the 2016 National History Day Contest winners.

Five members of the Federation of State Humanities Councils serve as their state coordinator of the National History Day contests and a number of others participate in or have supported the contest in other ways.  Affiliate contests are held throughout the 50 states, as well as in Washington D.C., Amerika Samoa, Guam, Central America, China, Korea, and South Asia.

Learn more about the individual state councils involved with National History Day:



NHD is a non-profit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local and affiliate levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, Jostens, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Joe Weider Foundation, and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information, visit

Photo credit: National History Day