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Library Awards Prizes on National History Day

To encourage students to study discovery and exploration through the ages, the Library of Congress awarded prizes as part of National History Day on the campus of the University of Maryland at College Park on June 17, 2014.

The Library of Congress "Discovery or Exploration in History Prize" was awarded as follows: In the Junior Division, Virginia Qian, Deepthi Mohanraj and Andreea Ifrim from Redmond (Washington) Middle School won for their documentary, "An Empire for 250 Years: The Hudson's Bay Company." In the Senior Division, Juliana Hillis and Kaylie O’Connell from Stoneham (Massachusetts) High School won for their group exhibit, "From an Egg, Everything: America's First IVF Baby."

Sponsored by the Elizabeth Ridgway Fund from the Library of Congress, these $1,000 prizes are awarded in the junior division (grades 6-8) and the senior division (grades 9-12) of the National History Day competition for an outstanding project in any category on American or international discovery or exploration. The Elizabeth Ridgway Fund was established in memory of the late director of Educational Outreach at the Library to honor her passion for history, students, education and the Library of Congress.

The prize honoring Ridgway joins another Library-related National History Day award, the Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers Prize. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) the prize is awarded to an outstanding entry in any category that utilizes the newspaper resources that are available on the Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers website ( hosted by the Library and co-sponsored by NEH.

This year’s Chronicling America prizes were awarded to Anika Rede and Maryum Ali from Birchwood School in Cleveland, Ohio for "Uncle Tom's Cabin: Generating a Rising Tide of Responsibility to End the Institution of Slavery" (junior division); and Anna Biddle from Carlisle (Pennsylvania) High School for "Dr. Harvey W. Wiley and the Crusade for Safe Food" (senior division).

In addition, 17 writers from the National History Day senior division were selected to participate in a special "Celebration of the Student Writer" event at the Library of Congress, a unique opportunity to discuss writing history with authors Doris Kearns Goodwin and John Mueller. The student participants included the following:

  • Julia Bache, home-schooled, Louisville, Ky.
  • Anna Biddle, Carlisle (Pa.) Area High School
  • Glysa Blanco, Fa'asao Maris High School, American Samoa
  • Julia Brunson, Reagan IB High School, Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Karen Dai, University of Chicago (Ill.) Laboratory High School
  • Giovanni DiRusso, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, Princeton Junction, N.J.
  • Micaela Gallegos, Livermore (Calif.) Valley Charter School
  • Miranda Hale, North Scott High School, Eldridge, Iowa
  • Virginia Harness, home-schooled, Nampa, Idaho
  • Jennifer Jun, Fairview High School, Boulder, Colo.
  • Ji-Ho Lee, Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Mo.
  • Benjamin Paquin, Exeter (N.H.) High School
  • Patricia Ploehn, Westwood High School, Blythewood, S.C.
  • Michael Rainville, Woodstock (Conn.) Academy
  • Katherine Scott, Georgia Cyber Academy, Rossville, Ga.
  • Nicole Stroud, Christ Covenant School, Winterville, N.C.
  • Tajinder Virdee, Sandra Day O'Connor High School, Phoenix, Ariz.

National History Day is a national year-long academic program focused on historical research for students in grades 6-12. Each year, more than half a million students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research to prepare original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries for entry into local, state and national History Day competitions. The program culminates in the national contest, held each June at the University of Maryland.

For information on National History Day, the annual contest and all available prizes, visit the National History Day website at (external link).

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s pre-eminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website at A robust resource site designed to help educators is available at

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PR 14-107 06/24/14 ISSN 0731-3527

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