Second in Size Only to LA’s, Nearly 500 Students Competed in Humboldt’s History Day

Family members take photos of the assembled group of winners. [

Family members take photos of the assembled group of winners. [All Photos by Mark McKenna]

Nearly 500 Humboldt County students in grades 4-12 participated in the 35th annual Humboldt County History Day on the HSU campus.
This year’s event had 31 schools with 50 teachers throughout Humboldt County participating in the event. It was the second largest event in the state. Only Los Angeles County’s is bigger.

Posterboard, props and process papers researched by students lined tables at Humboldt State University.

The theme this year was “Taking a Stand in History.” Students could present in a variety of categories including, posters, exhibits, websites, and documentaries.
The various categories were housed across the Humboldt State University campus Saturday and included a judging phase where students were evaluated, and included time for family and the community to view the various works by the students. An awards ceremony was held in the East Gym to announce this year’s winners.

Fiona Seibert hugs her principal Ron Perry of Six Rivers Charter High School after winning an award for her historical paper in the Seniors Category titled The Hollywood Ten Take a Stand Against The House Un-American Activities Committee.

According to Managing Director of the Rising Stars Foundation, Colleen Toste, who helped put on the event, winners will advance to the state level and be eligible for both coaching and scholarships to help them prepare and travel to the state competition. The Rising Stars Foundation, non-profit, works with the Humboldt County of Education to sponsor 10 annual events including History Day that promote and recognize excellence in young people.
Toste also thanked Humboldt State University for hosting the event and making both faculty and students available for support.
To learn more about or to support Rising Stars foundation visit their website at


  • Good job everyone involved!!!
    history is so important glad to see it in the spotlight.

  • Glad to see so many young folks interested in history!!Awsome job!!

  • Congratulations to the teachers, mentors and parents for keeping these kids interested and focused. And most of all congratulations to the kids for working so hard. This is something they will never forget. It is now part of THEIR history.

  • Yay, good news!! So happy to see the students so involved. Kudos to everyone who put it together. Projects and trips are so much more memorable than “plain school.”

  • Obviously the genocide of Native Americans in California and particularly this area is not the ‘History’ they are interested in. Reservation land has been ravaged by corporate greed in America for 90 years and it is only an issue when the television or their ‘professor’ tells them so.

  • Actually Ralph, even though that topic wasn’t covered exactly how you describe, my son did a piece on equality of races and is going to the state level to show his info. This is a good thing. And even though I may agree with you. Let’s take a moment a congratulate all these young people for participating in an event that brings many things up to promote thought and ways of not having history repeat itself.

  • Revisionist history no doubt, as that is what the Maoist diploma mill HSU “teaches” and promotes.

  • History is usually written by the victors and those privileged enough to have the funds to go to university, to get tenure and to publish. In the digital age the dependence on access via the university system and the established publishing industry is waning. Learning the vital skill of logical critical thinking as well as doing research are still key. It is often very uncomfortable when researching history to come across documentation that goes against one’s perceptions of what did or did not happen in the past. A great example is when you go to the local library and read the archives and find that your ancestors were not at noble as you once thought they were.

    Congratulations to the winners and may you find great success at the state level of the competition.

  • With the main photo highlighting a brutal & tragic part of history, I feel it’s only right to also share the part of history that has been ignored, twisted, abused, and misunderstood. History always repeats itself if it is hidden from us.
    Governments know dam well that sin taxes don’t work. They had good intentions, though, to end slavery.
    History extended:
    But don’t stop here. Please dive back even further and discover the BANKS, loans, mortgages, the colonists were obligated to pay back to the King.
    Don’t stop there. What rules did the king spell out? What rules were the colonists going to war against? Which states were most in debt to the king?
    What was the goal of the revolutionary war?
    What brought about the magna carta and… okay, too much all at once.
    History rocks when we rock history!

  • Jennifer Johnston

    My daughter competed yesterday and is going on to the state level also. Why can’t you all just be happy for the almost 500 students that worked hard and presented their projects yesterday? Why turn everything negative and political? These were mostly middle school and high school students that did a great job and learned about a new topic along the way. Embrace learning and positive events for kids.

    • Why is continued education negative and political? History is exciting, when we don’t linger and call it a day. Why is excitement about history considered a non celebratory act? Those who love history know that inspiring continued conversation is the highest complement of all.
      Those who love ruts will never get it.

  • So happy to have been a judge for History day for the first time. Seeing the hard work the students put into their projects was so inspiring and really gave insight into their passions and the subjects they are curious to explore. There is so much compassion in the younger generation, and a real desire to learn about people and events that are not popularly know.
    I invite those who are posting comments critical of education and the study of history to come on down and volunteer to judge next year! Part of being a critical thinker is exposing yourself to ideas opposing your own- maybe a good place to start is by volunteering for community events that you don’t know too much about.
    Congratulations to everyone involved!

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