Aidan Forbes Wins National History Day Honors

The National History Day finals played out at the University of Mayland at College Park.

June 16, 2017

Aidan Forbes is on a roll. The Huntington High School junior captured third place honors in the National History Day finals at the University of Maryland at College Park.

The teenager earlier won first place in the New York State National History Day competition at Cooperstown in the senior historical paper category for his project titled “Larry Flynt: An Unlikely Hero Takes a Stand against Censorship.”

“I had a good time on the University of Maryland campus and talking to the judges,” Mr. Forbes said. “Overall, it was probably one of, if not the best academic experience of my life.”

Aidan Forbes
Huntington junior Aidan Forbes captured third place in the National History Day finals.

This week’s national championship in Maryland drew 3,000 contestants from across the country as well as from Guam and American Samoa and from international schools in China, South Korea, South Asia and Central America.

“We are so, so excited and proud of Aidan,” said Huntington social studies teacher Lauren Desiderio, who serves as the high school’s Social Issues/National History Day club advisor. This marks only the second time ever that a Huntington High School student has been a national place winner. Samuel Latt took eighth place honors in 2015 for his project titled: “Aung San Suu Kyi: Leading Burma Towards Democracy and Human Rights.”

National History Day “encourages students to explore local, state, national, and world history,” according to the New York State Historical Association’s website. “After selecting a historical topic that relates to an annual theme, students conduct extensive research by using libraries, archives, museums and oral history interviews. They analyze and interpret their findings, draw conclusions about their topics' significance in history, and create final projects that present their work.”

Huntington has long been a Long Island and state power in the National History Day movement. Now Mr. Forbes has kept the high school on the national map, too.

One of the top juniors in the country, Mr. Forbes has qualified for the 2018 National Merit scholarship program. He will learn in September if he will advance to the semi-final round of the competition.