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 Kenneth E. Behring 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
Sponsored by The Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, National Capital Parks-East, National Park Service, which preserves the home of the legendary Dr. Carter G. Woodson located in Washington, D.C. This prize is awarded to the outstanding entry in either division whose research and presentation relates to and/or is inspired by the life and times of Dr. Carter G. Woodson.

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 (www.chroniclingamerica.loc.gov). 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 Rights Prize
This prize is sponsored by the March on Washington Film Festival, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the events, heroes and heroines – both iconic and unsung – of the Civil Rights Era; to inspiring a renewed passion for activism; and changing the way Civil Rights is taught in our nation’s schools. The Festival believes deeply in the power of ordinary people to impact change and alter the trajectory of their lives through small acts of extraordinary courage, acts that often go unrecorded in the annals of history. The Festival also believes in the transforming power of the creative arts to touch minds and hearts, to tell new stories, and to spark systemic changes in society. This prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category in both the junior and senior divisions that demonstrates an appreciation of the people and events of the Civil Rights era in a revealing and/or original way.

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
Sponsored by George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, this prize will be awarded to an outstanding project in both the junior and senior divisions that demonstrates a clear understanding of Washington’s character and the ideas and events that defined his leadership in his roles as commander in chief of the Continental Army, presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention, entrepreneur, and/or first president and connects his legacy to events and ideas of the 21st century.

Global Peace Prize
This prize is sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace, the independent organization created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. Created in 1984, USIP engages directly in conflict zones and provides analysis, education and resources to those working for peace around the world. This prize will be awarded in both the Junior and Senior Divisions to an outstanding entry that demonstrates America’s commitment to peace, including the role that individuals, organizations and/or the U.S. government have played in advancing the cause of global peace. Students are encouraged to think broadly about the concepts of peace and peacebuilding. They can encompass many forms and themes such as pursuing diplomatic solutions to international conflicts; bringing divided communities together; providing access to education, economic development, justice and the rule of law; addressing gender or other inequalities; or other initiatives intended to prevent or resolve violent conflict around the world. For more information visit www.buildingpeace.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.

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 6,000 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 National Library of Medicine, this prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category, in the Senior division, that best utilizes the National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources, whether primary or secondary sources, obtained via an NLM database/service such as MEDLINE Plus, PubMed, PubMed Central, NLM’s DIgital Collections, Images from the History of Medicine or by visiting the library.

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 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.