P.O. Box 441812  Somerville, Massachusetts 02144  781-248-7921

About the National History Club


What does the National History Club do?

The National History Club Inc. (NHC) inspires students and teachers to start History Club chapters at high schools, middle schools, and within other student and community programs. Members of local History Club chapters participate in local and national programs, and create their own projects and activities. The NHC also provides chapters with resources and services that will help them increase the activity and impact of their history club. To date, 500+ History Club chapters at high schools and middle schools in 44 states have joined the NHC, and there are over 14,000 student members. Schools are free to decide whether their chapter will be a regular History Club or a History Honor Society.

Our History

The National History Club was founded in 2002 by The Concord Review Inc. (TCR), which publishes the only scholarly review of history essays written by secondary students. In October 2006, The Concord Review (TCR) board of directors voted to establish the NHC as an independent affiliate to accommodate its rapid growth. The NHC was awarded a seed and planning grant from the Argosy Foundation in the fall of 2006. The Argosy Foundation is a private family foundation established in 1997 by John Abele.


Why History?

History is the only topic taught in every secondary school that can engage students of any interest in understanding and tackling human problems in the real world. In history there is truly something for everyone. History is political, artistic, social, economic, military, athletic, scientific, cultural, religious, technological, literary, philosophical, geographic, ethnic, and mathematical. History can be as contemporary as yesterday and as ancient as Mesopotamia, as near as the city one lives in and as far away as Andromeda. History can be seen and touched, read and written, made and remembered. Everyone is a part of history.

Most importantly, the study of history builds the critical skills students need to become responsible citizens and effective leaders. Researching and discovering new information, as well as reading, synthesizing, and communicating that information effectively: these are the skills that make someone successful in business, civic life, and even science. Most professional employees are expected to write. More than half of all companies take writing skills into account in making promotion decisions.

Yet, the study of History is declining in secondary schools. A 2010 Civics Assessment administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress displayed the lack of proper understanding of civics among students in our secondary schools. Among some of the key findings:

  • Fewer than half of American eighth graders knew the purpose of the Bill of Rights.
  • Only one in 10 eighth graders demonstrated acceptable knowledge of the checks and balances among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
  • Three-quarters of high school seniors were unable to name a power granted to Congress by the Constitution.

We are taking action to make the study of history a more important part of every student’s secondary school education.

Did You Know?
Based on a national test, the Nation's Report Card (U.S. Department of Education) rated 57 percent of 12th graders as having "Below Basic" achievement in U.S. history, and only 11 percent of 12th graders were rated as "Proficient" or higher. Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress, U.S. History Assessment, 2001.