Talented young people from across the state will be competing this weekend for the opportunity to participate in Tennessee History Day, an annual event that tests the historical knowledge of seventh through 12th graders.
History Day is a competition in which students are judged on the quality of exhibits, term papers, web sites, documentaries and live performances on historical topics. The competition begins in individual schools across the state, with the best entries advancing to district competitions.
This year's theme is "Rights and Responsibilities."
The first of the six district competitions will be held this weekend.
The dates, locations and hosts for all the district competitions are:
- Feb. 21 – Middle Tennessee District (Hosted by the Middle Tennessee State University history department) on the Middle Tennessee State University campus in Murfreesboro
- Feb. 22 – West Tennessee District (Hosted by the University of Memphis history department) at the University of Memphis campus in Memphis
- Feb. 22 – Southeast Tennessee District (Hosted by the Museum at 5ive Points) at the Museum of 5ive Points in Cleveland
- Feb. 24 – North Middle Tennessee District (Hosted by the Austin Peay State University history department) on the Austin Peay State University campus in Clarksville
- March 7 – East Tennessee District (Hosted by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville) on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville
- March 11 – Northeast Tennessee District (Hosted by the Andrew Johnson Heritage Association and Tusculum College) on the Tusculum College campus in Greeneville
The top finishers at the district level will advance to the statewide Tennessee History Day event, which will be held April 12 at the Legislative Plaza and other locations in downtown Nashville.
Tennessee History Day is coordinated by the Tennessee Historical Society.
For a fifth consecutive year, the Secretary of State's office is one of the sponsors for the statewide competition.
"History Day helps students build skills beyond what they learn in the classroom," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "To be successful in the competition, they must learn how to think critically, do independent research and present their projects in creative ways. Those are skills that will help them as they advance to college and the workplace. Also, research suggests that students who have participated in History Day tend to become more active and engaged citizens after they reach adulthood."
Winners at the statewide competition will advance to the National History Day finals June 15 through June 19 in College Park, Maryland.
Since its founding as a small contest in Ohio in 1974, History Day has grown into a national event that draws about 600,000 participants each year, including about 7,500 Tennesseans.
To learn more about the event in Tennessee, visit www.tennesseehistoryday.org.