National History Day

National History Day logo and Debate & Diplomacy in History logo
National History Day is a year-long academic program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for 6th- 12th-grade students.
The artifacts and Soldiers’ Stories at the National Museum of the United States Army provide a unique lens to explore how words, thoughts, or ideas are exchanged throughout history. These stories complement the 2021-2022 National History Day theme: Debate & Diplomacy in History. They spark deeper investigation into the theme.

Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences

Debate and diplomacy have been central to the history of the U.S. Army.

The U.S. Army’s mission is to defend the United States against adversaries. When and how the Army is deployed stems from debate among nations, individuals, or groups. The Army has also confronted debates within its own ranks on the meaning of military service over its 240 year history.

In addition to defense, the U.S. Army plays an important role carrying out diplomacy on behalf of the nation. Soldiers provide “boots on the ground” to support declarations of war, treaties, and other diplomatic measures negotiated by political leaders. Soldiers also support humanitarian missions by administering medical care, distributing supplies, and constructing facilities in times of need.

How do Soldiers’ stories relate to the theme Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences?

Explore potential project topics and resources below.


4 Soldiers, 2 white and 2 black, set up a machine gun. Click image to learn about Integration of the U.S. Army.


5 Japanese American Soldiers in World War II era uniforms with weapons. Click the image to learn more about Nisei Soldiers in World War II.


3 Soldiers set up a portable nuclear rocket. Click the image to learn more about the U.S. Army and the Cold War.