Looking Back to National History Day, 2020 ~ A Bedford High School Tradition

June 26, 2020

For the past 14 years, National History Day has been an important milestone for the Junior Class at Bedford High School. From the winter evening when all the projects are shown to classmates, parents, and friends through the season, typically culminating in some of the BHS projects competing at the University of Maryland in June.

In an abundance of caution, the 2020 Central Massachusetts District Competition was canceled on March 2. Then, because of the Covid-19 quarantine, the State Competition in April and Nationals in June became virtual events, devoid of the connections and camaraderie of other years when BHS students competed against their peers from other schools.

The 2020 National History Day projects were part of Mx Sunderland’s and Mr. Culhane’s high honors United States History II classes.  “Since September, students have engaged in the process of discovery and interpretation of historical topics related to the theme of “Triumph & Tragedy in History” while honing their creative talents producing original presentations,” noted the evening’s program.

“They have analyzed their topics’ historical significance and, tonight, are presenting their conclusions in imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries, dramatic performances, traditional research papers, and interactive websites.”

Documentaries, Papers & Websites are viewable at www.winterhistoryfair.weebly.com


Individual Projects

Breaking the Barrier of Truth Around King Leopold II’s Congo Free State Through the Use of Mass Media
Shana Wolckenhaar
Advanced to national competition; selected to be a showcase documentary for the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Enlightenment & Revolution
Vincent Canciello

Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Boundaries
Aidan Crotty
Advanced to the final of round of state competition

Group Projects

Marbury v. Madison: Establishing the Power of the Court
James Brosgol and Riley Daniel

Breaking Barriers in Race Relations and Medical Ethics: The Tuskegee Syphilis Study
Annanta Budhathoki and Leah Methratta

The Berlin Blockade: The US Breaking Soviet Barriers While Avoiding Mutually Assured Destruction
Maxim Kovalenko, Tim Bennett, and Oliver Nosal


Individual Projects

The Nuremberg Code of Ethics: Breaking down the barrier between human research subject and their rights
Katie Kranz
Advanced to final round of state competition; Won special prize: Best Representation of Breaking Barriers in Medical History

Arnold Schoenberg: Breaking Barriers in Musical Tonality and Structure

Mina Bostwick

United States v. Reynolds: Breaking Barriers to the Concentration of Powers
Charlotte Livingston

Brown v. The Board of Education
Evan Majoros

Elizebeth Friedman’s Life in Cryptology: Breaking Barriers in National Defense
Catherine Oordt

The Triple Crown: Saving Horse Racing and Breaking Barriers
Loralye Page

John Snow’s Discoveries on Cholera
Bella Santiago

Elizebeth Friedman’s Life in Cryptology: Breaking Barriers in National Defense
Catherine Oordt

Group Projects

Samuel Morse and the Telegraph: Breaking Barriers in Communications and in the Limits of Morality
Maya Driscoll and Emily Kociubes
Advanced to final round of state competition; won special prize: Best Project in Industrial History

The Detroit Race Riot of 1967

Alex Lin, Shaan Manocha, and Jasper Paez
Advanced to final round of state competition

Breaking Down the Dividing Walls of Humanity 

Tsoline Gevorkian and Hannah Hamdani


Individual Projects

King Henry Tudor VIII of England: Breaking the Barriers of Tradition and Religion in the Pursuit of Dynasty 
Caitlin Connors
Advanced to final round of state competition

Breaking Down the Wall
Josh Barck

From Shell Shock to Post-Traumatic Stress: The Veterans and Psychiatrists That Reformed Mental Health Care and Concurrently Broke The Barriers and Stigma Behind Treatment
Ryan Doucette

Mendez v. Westminster: The Chisel in America’s School Segregation Barrier
Aram Eskandarian

The Galileo Affair: Opinions Creating Barriers

TJ Zovko


Individual Projects

Jewish and Italian Immigration Through Ellis Island: Breaking Barriers and Achieving a Better Life
Julia Fair

Speaking Out within the Barriers of Dictatorship: The White Rose
Katherine Fhu

The Montreal Protocol Success Story: Breaking Barriers to Protect a Broken Barrier 
Jillian Guetersloh

Group Projects

Penicillin: Breaking Barriers in Medicine and Science
Tim Bennett, Brendan Coyne, John Miller, Ahmad Radi, and Michael Rogers

The Discovery of Penicillin: Breaking Barriers in Medical Treatment 
Maitri Dedhiya and Manu Reddy

The Stonewall Riots: Breaking Barriers in the Gay Liberation Movement
August Huber, Rosalind Lowen, Ryujin Mullins, and Nina Sukiasyan

  • Jon Sills, Heather Gallante, Tom Casey & Dan Hudder for their administrative support
  • Parents whose contributions of time, effort, understanding & support made possible these projects
  • The Judges & mentors for their time, experience & comments
  • All our generous donors

Members of the BHS Social Studies Department

Christine Butler, Dave Boschetto, Kasie Costopulos, Patrick Culhane, Rich Donnelly, Betsy Goetschius, Tova Margolis, Lisa Predaina, Milena Rosecan, Jim Sunderland, Dennis Walsh, and John Wysokowski


National History Day is an annual initiative designed to promote the teaching and learning of history. It is is an exciting way for students to study and learn about historical issues, ideas, people, and events. The program culminates in a nationwide National History Day competition that draws students from every state in the Union, several protectorates, as well as international teams.



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