Students from the McComb, Mississippi School District were shining stars in their first National History Day state competition at the University of Southern Mississippi on Feb. 25, 2012. McComb students and teachers won four awards and qualified for the national competition.
National History Day is a highly regarded nationwide competition designed to provide students with opportunities to learn historical content and develop research, thinking and communication skills through the study of history.
The first award was for the documentary film about the 1961 Burglund High School Walkout. While a groundbreaking event in the national Civil Rights Movement, the Burglund Walkout is left out of the textbooks and general public memory. The students learned they can play a critical role in promoting their own local history. Producing the film was a collaborative effort. It started with interviews conducted by students in the Mississippi Local Culture class. During a 2011 summer institute, McComb High School students produced the mini-documentary drawing on these interviews and additional research.
This group also won the Oral History Award which the University of Southern Mississippi presents to the National History Day project that makes the best use of oral histories in their project.
One student won second place for her individual exhibit of Brown v. Board of Education and two teachers received awards of commendation for helping their students prepare for the National History Day competition.
The students’ participation in the NHD competition was supported in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.