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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.



Kansas Memory Blog

National History Day 2015: Leadership and Legacy

Posted by Jocelyn Wehr (Digital Archivist) on Aug 28, 2014

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

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