The OAH Magazine of History

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History Day

from the editor

Hunter Scott Day, by Carl R. Weinberg

Have you ever watched Jaws? If so, you have heard the story of the USS Indianapolis, a U.S. Navy cruiser sunk by a Japanese submarine in the Pacific during the final weeks of World War II. As the veteran shark-hunting captain, Quint (Robert Shaw), tells Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) and marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfus), “We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian [in the Marianas] to Leyte [in the Phillipines]. We’d just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb.” When the twice torpedoed ship sunk in a mere twelve minutes, it proved to be only the beginning of a long nightmare for Quint and his shipmates. Due to a combination of bureaucratic incompetence and atomic bomb–related secrecy, more than four days passed while survivors floated on the open sea, most of them relying only on lifejackets to stay above water. Together, they fought hunger, thirst, dehydration, exposure, blistering heat, hallucinations, and hundreds of very real sharks. As Quint sums it up, “So, 1,100 men went into the water, 316 men come out—the sharks took the rest.” Read online >


National History Day and the Evolution of History Education,
by Linda Sargent Wood
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National History Day Works,
by Cathy Gorn
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From Corn Chips to Garbology: The Dynamics of Historical Inquiry,
by Stevan Kalmon, Peggy O’Neill-Jones, Cynthia Stout, and Linda Sargent Wood
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National History Day and the Power of Place: Researching the History of Your State or Community,
by Dustin Meeker
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Editor's Choice

“His Death Avenged!”: Empowering Students as Historians on a Global Scale,
by Mark Johnson


Editor's Choice

Doing National History Day With Your Students,
by Gail Ingram

bringing history alive

Becoming Emmett Till: A Student History Day Perspective,
by Joshuah Campbell
Read online >

on the cover

Amanda d’Almeida performs in the finals of the 2011 National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland. D’Almeida and fellow Coupeville (Wa.) High School student Nathan Lamb (not shown) finished ninth in the country in the senior group performance category for their project, “Caught In a Net of Debate: Using Diplomacy to Interpret Treaty Rights.” Their research focused on the battle in the 1960s and 70s over Native American fishing rights, rooted in a series of nineteenth-century treaties with the state of Washington. The controversial centerpiece of the law that still prevails today is a 1974 decision by U. S. District Judge George Boldt granting Native American groups the right to 50 percent of the harvestable salmon and steelhead trout in the state. Whether writing papers, designing table-top exhibits, filming documentaries, creating websites, or performing on stage, students gain a deep appreciation of the relationship between past and present through National History Day (Courtesy of National History Day, Inc.)