Michigan students, including one from Muskegon County, honored at national history day event

Michigan students were among the thousands of participants from across the United States and several territories competing in the 2019 National History Day contest, which took place June 9-13 in College Park, Md. Six Michigan students received special honors—including a first-place award.

“The History Day theme for 2019—Triumph & Tragedy in History—allowed our students to create some very innovative and impassioned entries,” said Amy Bradfield, state coordinator for Michigan History Day® (National History Day in Michigan). “We are proud of each and every student who participated in the 2019 History Day program.”

Michigan students competing in the National History Day competition represented several cities, including Ada, Bay City, Beverly Hills, Byron Center, DeTour, Detroit, Fraser, Grand Rapids, Houghton, Kalamazoo, Kentwood, Montague, Sault Ste. Marie, South Haven, St. Joseph, Traverse City, Westland and Whitehall.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Allison Tate of Whitehall Middle School in Whitehall, sponsor Jan Klco, placed first in the nation for the Junior Division Individual Exhibit category with her entry, “A Bitter Pill to Swallow: Dr. Kelsey’s Triumph Hides an American Tragedy.”

Georgia Edmonds of Kalamazoo placed fifth in the nation in the Junior Division Individual Exhibit for “The Radium Girls: The Luminous Triumph and the Dark Tragedy of Radium;”  Kyle Korte of Forest Hills Eastern High School in Ada received eighth in Senior Division Individual Website category  “In the Far Off Fields of Russia: The Tragedy of the Polar Bears.”

Wyatt Galarowic, Tailey McCloskey and Allyssa Miller from DeTour High School in DeTour Village were selected to represent Michigan at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with their group exhibit, “Shattering the Stigma: Bringing Awareness for Mental Health Reform to a Disillusioned Nation.” The students were sponsored by Russ Norris and Sara Galarowic.

Michigan History Day is an affiliate of National History Day, which was established in 1974 and offers yearlong academic programs that engage more than half a million middle and high school students around the world annually. History Day provides a fascinating opportunity to move beyond routine learning. Based on an annual theme, students choose to explore and research a local, national or international historical topic. Students then present their work in one of five categories: performances, exhibits, papers, websites and documentaries.

Lead sponsors of Michigan History Day 2019 are The Meijer Foundation, Frederick S. Upton Foundation, Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, Bob Scripps Community Fund of the Scripps Howard Foundation, Amway, Sally Adler and Bay City Public Schools.

The Historical Society of Michigan is the state’s oldest cultural organization, founded in 1828 by territorial governor Lewis Cass and explorer Henry Schoolcraft. A nongovernmental nonprofit, the Society focuses on publications, conferences, education, awards and recognition programming, and support for local history organizations to preserve and promote Michigan’s rich history.