Students from Across New York State Will Convene in Cooperstown for the Annual New York State History Day Competition

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., April 12, 2007—On Friday, April 27, the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum will host over 400 middle and high school students and their families from across New York State for the annual New York State History Day competition.

Judging of all entries begins at 9:00 a.m. and runs until early afternoon. Students will present their projects at various locations around Cooperstown, including Fenimore Art Museum, The Farmers’ Museum, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and The Otesaga Hotel. Nearly one hundred community members, consisting of historians and educators, will serve as judges for the event. The day’s events culminate in an awards ceremony at the Cooperstown High School at 5:00 pm.

The state contest, sponsored by the New York State Historical Association, is a yearlong history education program that challenges students in grades 6-12 to produce exceptional scholarship on topics in history related to an annual theme. This year’s theme is “Triumph & Tragedy in History,” and students from 11 regions around New York State will present their final projects in the form of dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries, interactive web sites and scholarly research papers to a panel of judges. Students placing first and second in their categories will be eligible to compete at National History Day in College Park, Maryland, in June.

This year’s entries range from world history topics, such as the Holocaust and Julius Caesar, to local New York State subjects including the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island and the Canandaigua Treaty. Although projects vary in their focus on local, state, national, and international history, all student entries address how their topic can be viewed as a both a triumph and tragedy in history. A high school senior from Albion, NY, investigated the role of the media during the Vietnam War by interviewing media personalities and veterans for her individual documentary, “Triumphs and Tragedies: The Media During the Vietnam War.” Two eighth graders from Brooklyn examined the daily life of female Irish immigrants in the nineteenth century and present their final analysis in the dramatic performance, “Ireland's Daughters as Domestic Servants: The Bridge Between the Tragedy of the Famine and the Triumph of Success in America.” In their group exhibit, “Bridges of Wishes,” two high school students from Clifton Park, NY, address the triumphs and tragedies Ruby Bridges faced when she became the first black child to attend an all-white school in the mid-20th century American south.

Community members are welcome to view the performance, documentary, and exhibition categories, held at designated sites. A schedule with locations and times will be available in the Main Barn at the Registration and Information Desk in The Farmers’ Museum on Thursday and Friday, April 26 and 27.

For more information on New York State History Day, e-mail the State Coordinator at nyshistoryday@nysha.org, or visit the New York State History Day web site at www.nyshistoryday.org.
New York State History Day is sponsored by the New York State Historical Association. Major funding for the program, made possible by the generous support of Senator James L. Seward, is provided through the New York State Education Department.

About the New York State Historical Association
The New York State Historical Association is committed to engaging and connecting a broad public audience to New York State’s unique cultural heritage through exhibitions, extensive library collections, statewide educational programs, and publications that provoke, delight, and inspire. Founded in 1899, NYSHA is a private, non-profit, membership-based, educational and cultural institution dedicated to preserving, collecting, and interpreting art and historical artifacts significant to New York State’s rich history and American culture. The Association’s remarkable collections, showcased in the Fenimore Art Museum, comprise some of the best examples of American landscape, history, and genre paintings including seminal works by Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Cole, William Sidney Mount and Benjamin West; the renown Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, a masterpiece collection of more than 800 art objects, representing a broad scope of North American cultures; and one of the nation’s most comprehensive and significant folk art collections. NYSHA’s Research Library holdings include over 80,000 volumes on American, New York State, and local history. For more information on the Association, Fenimore Art Museum, the Research Library, or Membership, please call (607) 547-1400 or visit www.nysha.org. The Association’s mailing address is P.O. Box 800, 5798 State Hwy. 80, Lake Rd., Cooperstown, NY 13326.

About National History Day
National History Day (NHD) is a nationally acclaimed, yearlong history education program that annually challenges over half a million students and thousands of teachers to ask questions that uncover life-changing answers. On April 11, 1974, National History Day was launched when 129 students from the Cleveland, Ohio area attended a history competition on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.
The revolutionary program was designed to reform and invigorate the teaching and learning of history at the elementary and secondary levels. With initial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National History Day soon became a staple of history education in classrooms throughout the United States. Today, National History Day serves as the model for history and civics education reform. For more information on National History Day, please visit www.nationalhistoryday.org

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For more information or images, please contact:
Christine Liggio/Public Relations Office
New York State Historical Association
Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum
Phone: (607) 547-1472/E-mail: cliggio@nysha.org

Press Release Category: 
Program and Event Press Releases
Publication Date: 
April 2007
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