Press Release

The National World War II Museum announces its 2011 Student Essay Contest Theme

Students asked: “Why should we remember Pearl Harbor?”; Museum adds middle school essay contest

January 14, 2011 (New Orleans, LA) – This year marks the 70th anniversary of America’s entry into World War II.  Throughout the year, The National World War II Museum in New Orleans will be exploring how and why the United States went to war in December 1941. For the their annual High School Essay Contest, the New Orleans-based Museum is asking students if they think it is important for us to “Remember Pearl Harbor.” And, if so, why and how should we remember it? 


“The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred seventy years ago. That’s ancient history to many students.  I’m interested to see what this generation of young Americans thinks about Pearl Harbor today and how it might be remembered in the future,” says Museum Director of Education Kenneth Hoffman.


As in years past, the Museum does not want research papers. Students’ essays will be judged foremost for their originality, clarity of expression, and adherence to contest theme, as well as their historical accuracy, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Museum staff will read and evaluate entries.


This year the Museum is inaugurating a Middle School Essay Contest. Students in grades 5-8 are also asked the same question, but in a shorter format.  Essays will be judged and compared by grade.


All essays must be submitted through the Museum Essay Contest web page.  No essays will be accepted through the mail.




High School Essay Contest: First place winner will receive $1,000; second place winner will receive $750; and third place winner will receive $500.  Winning essays will be posted on our website.


Middle School Essay Contest: One first place winner from each grade will receive $250.  Winning essays will be posted on our website.




Submission deadline for both contests is March 31, 2011, or when 500 entries have been received in each division.

For formatting rules and submission instructions, visit


The National World War II Museum in New Orleans tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.  Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook fan page.