In the National History Day program held at the University of Maryland, College Park June 10-14, Jane Carskaddan, a tenth-grader from Great Falls, and a Langley High School student, received the Virginia Outstanding Senior Entry Award for her research paper, “444 Days in the Dark: The Iran Hostage Crisis.” Her paper advanced to the final round of judging and was among the top ten of ninety-seven Senior paper entries. Founded in 1974, the National History Day Contest was created to inspire students to conduct original historical research. Since its creation, the contest has grown into an international competition with more than half-a-million participants and thousands of dollars in scholarship awards and prizes annually. According to an independent study in 2011, students who participate in the National History Day Contest are better prepared for college, careers, and citizenship. They also outperform their peers in areas including communication, planning, research and perseverance. Many of the fifty-nine Virginia students who competed at the National Contest have already turned their attention to next year’s theme: Triumph and Tragedy in History. They will have until next February and March to put their final touches on new exhibits, documentaries, papers, performances, or websites – before the 2019 competition season starts anew.