The Charlotte Parkhurst Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in Folsom sponsors the 2023-24 American History Essay Contest for all Folsom and El Dorado Hills students in fifth through eighth grades. Students in public, private, parochial or those who are homeschoolers are eligible to submit their essays.  

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This year’s essay topic touches a musical note familiar to almost everyone. On May 14, 1897, John Philip Sousa, the great American composer and conductor known for American military marches, played his new march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” This song would become the national march of the United States on Dec. 11, 1987.

Students participating in this essay contest are asked to imagine it is 1897 and they are a newspaper reporter for The Philadelphia Times. Their newspaper editor has asked them to write an article about the song being performed that day. The article needs to talk about Sousa’s life and the story behind the song. It is the first performance of the song, so the article needs to include thoughts about the music and how the audience reacts to what is seen and heard that day.

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Students will need to submit essays for judging by Nov. 1, 2023. All participants will receive a certificate of participation. One essay at each grade level will be selected as the chapter winner.

Winners at each grade level will receive a bronze medal and their essay will be advanced to the California State DAR American history chair for further competition opportunities.

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While this essay contest topic may be integrated into local public, private and parochial school curriculum, independent submissions are also welcome. For more information on this contest and how students can participate go to folsom.californiadar.org, where all documents about the contest can be downloaded. Submissions will be accepted electronically only. Email essays to AmericanHistoryEssay@gmail.com

To learn more about the Charlotte Parkhurst Chapter of DAR and honoring and preserving the legacy of potential revolutionary ancestors in your family, promoting historic preservation, education and patriotic endeavors email charlotteparkhurstdar@gmail.com or the visit the Charlotte Parkhurst Chapter website at folsom.californiadar.org.

Sue Mackin
Author: Sue Mackin

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