Open to all High School Students of Arlington County

News Flash! Due to popular demand this essay contest is now also open to 8th graders in Arlington schools.  The Arlington Historical Society, in partnership with Columbia Lodge No.285, is pleased to announce the 2018 student historical writing contest. The topic for this year’s essay is:

“2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of the armistice ending World War One. World War One has been called the “forgotten war” by some historians. Have we forgotten this war in Arlington? Why or why not?”

All students Grades 8 – 12 in Arlington are eligible to participate. Essays will be judged by an Arlington Historical Society committee using the following criteria:

  • Essay should be written in English & run between 1,000-2,000 words.
  • Essay should be cogently written & use accepted English form for an historical essay (e.g. footnotes, bibliography, etc).
  • Essay should clearly address the topic and reflect in-depth research with multiple sources documented. The Center for Local History at Central Library and the Arlington Historical Society website are suggested starting points for this essay topic.
  • Essay may include embedded photos but are not required.
  • Essay must include a cover sheet with the student’s name and essay title.

The deadline for submission is April 15, 2018, and essays should be submitted by that date to Max Gross (gross_max@hotmail.com). Essays received after this date will not be considered.

Cash Awards for the winning essays will be distributed to winners in June 2018. They include the following:

  • 1st: $1,000 and publication in the Arlington Historical Magazine
  • 2nd: $500
  • 3rd & 4th: $250 each

A key mission of the Arlington Historical Society is to encourage research and writing about the history of Arlington County. Let the historical research, thinking, and writing begin!!!!

Over the past 5 years the Arlington Historical Society in partnership with Columbia Lodge #285 has asked Arlington high school students to write an essay about a theme in Arlington’s history.  Here are the first place winners and the topic on which they wrote.

2013 Winner James Hughes (Washington-Lee High School)
“What would Arlington County be like today if the retrocession had not occurred?”

2014 Winner Noah Kennedy (Washington-Lee High School)
“To what extent was Arlington County heroic or quixotic in its pursuit of school integration, considering contemporary trends?”

2015 Winner Lydia Cawley (Washington-Lee High School)
“During the Civil War, Arlington (then called Alexandria County) found itself at the boundary between North and South. Describe and discuss the effect of this juxtaposition, both then and since.”

2016 Winner James Gusmer (Washington-Lee High School)
“Discuss how the opening of the Metro in the 1970s affected Arlington and how it might continue to influence the County’s development in the future.”

2017 Winner Savannah Landefeld (Yorktown)
“Crandall Mackey, local district attorney, used his power to clean up a part of Arlington at the beginning of the 20th century, often referred to as the ‘Monte Carlo of America.’ Was he successful and did Arlington continue this social activism through the 1900s?”