National History Day

National History Day (NHD) is a learning adventure that teaches critical thinking, writing and research skills and boosts performance across all subjects – not just history. To facilitate this, NHD provides a framework and curriculum materials for teachers and guidance for students.This video, produced by HISTORY® at the 2008 National Contest, provides an introduction to NHD for students, teachers, and parents who are interested in participating in NHD programs.

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How does it work? Students choose a historical topic related to the annual theme and then conduct primary and secondary research. Students are encouraged to look through libraries, archives and museums, conduct oral history interviews, and visit historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting the sources, and drawing a conclusion about the significance of the topic, students are then able to present their work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a website.

First, students grades 6th through 12th can participate at the local level. Students from Oneida, Oswego, Madison, Cortland, and Onondaga counties are eligible to take part in Central New York Region History Day facilitated by Onondaga Historical Association and held at OCM Boces. Winners from this competition have an opportunity to use the judges’ remarks and revise their projects to present a second time at the New York State History Day, held in Cooperstown, New York on Monday. From here, winners can again revise their projects before moving on to The Kenneth E. Behring National History Day contest.

CNY Region History Day 2021 will take place VIRTUALLY.
Registration begins February 3rd, 2021
All projects and research must be submitted by March 3rd, 2021.
Winners will be announced March 26, 2021.

For more information regarding Central New York History Day, contact Scott Peal by email ( or by phone (428-1864 extension 317).

Interested in sponsoring and supporting CNY Region History Day? Contact Lisa Moore, Director of Development, at 315-428-1824 ext. 315, or Alicia Madonna, Development Associate, at ext. 314.

Thank you to our 2020-2021 Sponsors

Theme Narrative & Sample Topics  »
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Choose a Category »
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Resources for Students »
Learn how to enter the contest, watch webinars, find research links and more.

Resources for Teachers »
Find resources to help implement National History Day in your classroom.