LAWRENCE — The Robert J. Dole Institute Archive and Special Collections at the University of Kansas will host the History Day exhibit "Executive Order 9981: Truman's Revolution for Equality for Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces" until Aug. 31. Created by Topeka Collegiate student Erica Self, the exhibit focuses on President Harry S Truman's executive order to desegregate the U.S. Armed Forces. The exhibition is free and open to the public during Dole Institute business hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
"It is part of the Dole Institute's mission, set forth by Senator Dole, to foster civic learning in young people, and to interact with the people of Kansas," said Dole Institute director Bill Lacy. "The History Day competition provides a great opportunity for students, teachers and families to learn how the Dole Archive can assist any age group in their educational pursuits."
The Dole Archive awards the Robert J. Dole Congressional History Prize to three entries at the Kansas History Day State Contest. Recipients' entries should focus on the United States Congress and politics. Self's exhibit won second place at the 2012 competition and is the first junior entry to win the Dole History Prize. This year was the first time the prize was open to include junior level entries, which is composed of sixth-eighth grades.
"I feel that winning the award from the Robert J. Dole Institute is a great honor, and I am very pleased because this is the first award I have ever received for a history day project," Self said.
National History Day is an academic program for elementary and secondary school students. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. After analyzing their sources and drawing conclusions, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. The projects are entered into competitions on the local, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators.