Select Page

The National History Day – April 25-27, 2014 |Riverside Convention Center.

The National History Day – April 25-27, 2014 |Riverside Convention Center.

National History Day – California is an academic competition that showcases history projects created by students from across the state in grades four through twelve.  Approximately 1,000 students will compete in 11 categories.

NatHisdayMany of Riverside’s downtown institutions are working together to ensure that the history weekend will be a memorable one for the visiting student-competitors, family, teachers, and education officials who will be traveling from throughout the state to Riverside for the competition.  Downtown’s Riverside Metropolitan Museum and the Center for Social Justice and Civil Liberties will be incorporating this year’s History Day theme into some of their exhibits and offering free admission to competition participants. The Riverside Art Museum will host a special exhibit, Wild Blue Yonder. The exhibit records the many “hidden” stories of southern Californian veterans in Riverside and the Inland Empire and explores the military’s influence on the development of Riverside’s community as one of the most ethnically diverse in the nation. Throughout the event, booths will be staged on the Riverside Convention Center Plaza with representatives from each of Riverside’s four colleges and universities providing information about their institutions and, in some cases, offering tours by appointment.  On the Plaza Saturday afternoon, several groups will be re-enacting history. Sons of the American Revolution will set up a recruiting tent, march in formation, fire muskets and cannon and share their knowledge of Revolutionary war, clothing, weapons and life. Members of Soldados y Californios de Southern Californiawill also demonstrate clothing and weapons typical of the California Mission period.

From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Main Street Riverside will come alive with celebrations and interpretations at each of the five historic monuments along the pedestrian mall.  Hour by hour guests will witness tributes to each Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, DosanAhn Chang-Ho, Mahatma Gandhi and Eliza Tibbetts.  Throughout the afternoon characters from the Dickens Festival will roam throughout downtown, taking visitors back in time to the era before women were allowed to vote.

In a special appearance at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Mark Rubin, holocaust survivor, will share his experiences at The Barbra and Art Culver Center of the Arts.  Rubin was born in Sabinov, Czechoslovakia, and was 7 years old in 1944 when his family was imprisoned in the concentration camp, located in what is now the Czech Republic. Of the 150,000 prisoners held there, an estimated 35,000 were children. When the Soviet Army liberated the camp in 1945, there were 17,247 survivors, only 100 children among them.

These extraordinary public events are jointly sponsored by the Riverside Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Riverside Downtown Partnership, Riverside’s Long Nights of Arts and Innovation and the Riverside Arts Council in partnership with the Riverside County Office of Education.

Students who win in the state finals will represent California at the National History Day competition at the University of Maryland in June.  This year’s theme is “Rights and Responsibilities in History”.  Students participating at the state level have advanced through multiple levels of competition at the school site, district, and county levels, demonstrating their research, analysis, and project development.  Students become historians as they research their topics using both primary and secondary sources in libraries, archives, and museums.  The projects include dramatic performances, documentaries, papers, websites, exhibits, and 2-D posters.

For 2014, the Riverside County Office of Education is the affiliate agency, with support from the Riverside Convention and Visitors Bureau.

More than 180 volunteer judges are being recruited.  Judges do not need prior experience or specific expertise in history but are required to commit to up to six hours during the weekend competition and attend an orientation.

“If you enjoy working with students and are excited by history, you are encouraged to sign up to judge,” said Ana Farfan, Executive Director, Office of the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools.

Prospective judges should contact Tracey Case, for information and a registration form.

Learn more about National History Day by contacting Craig Petinak, (951) 826-6702;

or by visiting the NHD-CA website,