ECU to host National History Day

More than 250 middle and high school students are expected to participate March 30 in the regional National History Day competition at East Carolina University.

Judging at the event, themed “Debate and Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, Consequences” will begin at 10 a.m. in Mendenhall Student Center. The public is invited to attend, said Chad Ross, teaching assistant professor of history.

“You’ll see the excitement and energy in these kids’ faces,” said Ross, who is in his third year of organizing the event.

The regional NHD will draw students from counties east of Interstate 95. Winners will proceed to the state competition in Raleigh, which precedes the national contest in College Park, Md.

More than half a million students nationwide participate annually in NHD by writing papers or preparing exhibits, performances, websites or documentaries.

NHD helps students across the country develop critical thinking, research and presentation skills. It also fosters self-esteem and helps develop a sense of responsibility for an involvement in the democratic process.

A study released in January found that students who participated in National History Day perform better on high-stakes tests, are better writers, more confident and capable researchers, and have a more mature perspective on current events and civic engagement than their peers.

The ECU Department of History sponsors the regional contest as part of its efforts to interact with the community and bring history to people, Ross said.

To learn more about National History Day and the March 30 event, contact Chad Ross, Ph.D., teaching assistant professor of history, at 252-328-6089 or More information can also be found at


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