Because National History Day focuses on a specific theme each year and is an evolving program, it is important that the competition information you receive is accurate and up to date. Themes, competition categories, rules and deadlines can be found on the State History Day and National History Day websites.
What is History Day?
National History Day got its start as a small contest in Cleveland, Ohio in 1974 as a way to make learning history a fun and exciting experience for students and teachers. Within a few short years the contest's popularity spread throughout Ohio into surrounding Midwestern states and beyond. In 1992 National History Day moved its headquarters from Cleveland to Washington D.C. and organized the National History Day Competition throughout the United States.
In addition to making history fun to learn and teach, National History Day requires students to support their projects with multiple primary sources and is designed to help students acquire important research and critical thinking skills.
When is National History Day?
National History Day culminates in a national contest each June after a series of competitions held first at the school, regional, and then state levels. Each region and state sets its own registration and competition deadlines each year. Most students start research by late October or early November. Projects planning to enter the contest must be finished in time for the district contests (usually in February or March). The state contest (usually held in April-May), and the national contest (held at the beginning of June at the University of Maryland). Because papers are due several weeks before each contest, students writing papers and websites should plan ahead carefully.
How Can the FDR Library Help with History Day Projects?
The Archives of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum houses more than 17 million pages of documents, making it the world's premier research center for the study of the Roosevelt era. Because Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were such important figures in American and world history, elements of their work are often selected as History Day projects.
Each year dozens of students from across the country Contact the Library's Education Specialist to receive copies of primary source documents from our archival collection. Participants have used photographs, documents, speeches, and sound recordings from the Library's holdings. There are also many online resources for studying Roosevelt history available on this website. Start by visiting Featured Resources and Ideas for Research and Project Topics.