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Essay Contest 2018 - Submission Deadline

To promote an appreciation for our state’s history, The Bostonian Society and Boston Duck Tours, with the support of Revolution 250, sponsor a yearly essay contest for greater Boston area school children in grades 5-8. Students in grades 5-6 are asked to submit an essay of 300-500 words, Students in grades 7-8 are asked to submit an essay of 500-700 words. The First Place student in each grade group receives a Duck Tour and a visit to the Old State House for his/her class (up to 36 people including chaperones). In addition, the author of the winning essay in the grades 7-8 category will receive a $1,000 scholarship payable upon acceptance to an institution of higher education. Winning schools are responsible for providing transportation to Boston for the Duck Tour and visit to the Old State House. The tour must be booked for a date no later than May 31, 2018.

This Year’s Topic:

Pretend you have been tasked to create a time capsule for your community. Your time capsule will contain items that relate to your community’s history and heritage from the time your community was settled until the present day. In your essay, describe how you would build your time capsule and list the items you would put in it. Explain the significance of each item and why you feel it should be in your time capsule. Illustrations of your time capsule and the items you choose may be included with the essay. Be creative.

How to Enter:

Entries should be received no later than February 15, 2018. Please include the student’s name, grade, teacher’s name, school, and school address on the front page. The student’s name should be on each subsequent page. Send entries to Jim Healy, Boston Duck Tours, 4 Copley Place #4155, Boston, MA 02116


Judges for the 2017 Essay Contest will be Martin Blatt, PhD, History Department, Northeastern University; Professor Robert Allison, PhD, Chair, History Department, Suffolk University; and Nat Sheidley, Executive Director, The Bostonian Society.

The Bostonian Society operates the Old State House as an historic site and museum. Built in 1713, the Old State House was the seat of colonial government, home to the Massachusetts Assembly, the Supreme Court of the Colony and the office of the Royal Governor. It was here that many of the basic principles of American democracy, later enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, were first expressed. John Adams described it as the site where “the child Independence was born.” The Bostonian Society seeks to foster a understanding of the world-changing ideas and events associated with the Old State House, and the ways in which they influence our lives today. The Society was founded in 1881 to save the Old State House from demolition; since that time the Society has preserved the structure and kept it open to the public as a museum dedicated to Boston’s Revolutionary history.

Revolution 250 is a growing consortium of organizations in the city of Boston who have come together to celebrate, commemorate, and interpret the 250th anniversary of the events culminating in the American Revolution.

Feel free to contact Jim Healy at Boston Duck Tours if you have any questions about the essay contest. Jim may be reached at 617-438-4915 or

Later Event: February 19
New Kids' Activity Book