National History Day (NHD) is a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students. Each year, more than half a million students participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews, and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances, and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state, and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park.
In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, NHD also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:
+ critical thinking and problem-solving skills
+ research and reading skills
+ oral and written communication and presentation skills
+ self-esteem and confidence
+ a sense of responsibilty for and involvement in the democratic process
Kansas Memory can be the starting point to access primary resources for History Day projects. The 2015 theme is Leadership and Legacy. The following list includes people who have provided leadership in various time periods and whose leadership has a lasting legacy in Kansas and United States history. Additional materials are available in the Kansas Historical Society's research collections.
- John Brown and the Free State movement
- William Clark, U. S. Superintendent of Indian Affairs for our region
- Harry Colmery and the G. I. Bill of Rights
- Samuel Crawford and the 19th Kansas Cavalry
- Samuel Crumbine and his public health campaign
- Congressman and Vice-President Charles Curtis and his impact on treaties with Indian tribes
- Dorothea Dix, mental health hospitals pioneer
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower and WWII
- Governor Joan Finney and the Indian Gaming Compacts
- Frederick Funston, hero of the Cuban Revolution and the Spanish American War
- Isaac Goodnow and the founding of Bluemont Central College (predecessor to Kansas State University)
- Marcet and Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and the Appeal to Reason
- Cyrus K. Holliday and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad
- Wes Jackson and the Land Institute
- Lucy Browne Johnston and the Kansas Suffrage movement (see also Clarina Nichols and Annie Diggs)
- Karl Menninger and the history of psychiatry
- Lilla Day Monroe, newspaper editor and publisher and women's rights activist
- Carrie Nation and the Temperance movement
- Populist movement leaders like William Peffer, "Sockless" Jerry Simpson, and Mary Elizabeth Lease
- Andrew Reeder, the first governor of Kansas Territory
- Benjamin "Pap" Singleton and the Exoduster movement
- Charles Sheldon, author of "In His Steps" and the phrase "What Would Jesus Do?"
- John G. Stutz and the Kansas Emergency Relief Commission
- Lucinda Todd, participant in the Brown v. Board school desegregation case and the NAACP
- William Allen White and the fight against the Ku Klux Klan in Kansas
The Major Hudson School was first opened in the Rosedale community of Kansas City on March 14, 1924. Later that year, the local Mexican consul, Benigno Cantu, sent a five-page telegram to Governor Jonathan M. Davis concerning a report of four Mexican boys barred from enrolling in the fifth grade at Major Hudson School because other students threatened to stop attending classes if the Mexican children were allowed to attend. Cantu says a mob of two hundred children and adults shouted abusive language until the principal, Margaret Jones, called the police. The consul asks that the governor investigate the situation.
This incident was only one of several conflicts between the Mexican-American community and Kansas City School District during this period. The following year, the Mexican Consulate again pressured the school board and Governor Benjamin S. Paulen to address the issue when the parents of white students signed a petition to remove four other Mexican students from Argentine High School. Further information about the conflict at Argentine High School can be found on Kansapedia.
View the entire telegram regarding segregation at Major Hudson School on Kansas Memory.