Newsroom Category: Civics

Alabama History Day 2024 winners announced

BIRMINGHAM / March 18, 2024 — This month, the Alabama Humanities Alliance presented its annual Alabama History Day contest, an accessible, statewide history research competition for middle and high school students. A total of 167 students traveled from schools across the state to compete at Auburn University at Montgomery’s campus on March 8, 2024. Eligible first- and second-place winners will represent Alabama at National History Day in Maryland and Washington, D.C., scheduled for June 9-13, 2024.

Throughout the 2023-2024 academic school year, Alabama teachers incorporated History Day as a project-learning tool in their classrooms. Students conducted primary research on topics of their own choosing related to this year’s History Day theme: Turning Points in History.

At the March 8 state contest, students creatively presented their research to judges — in the form of documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, or websites. The Freedom Rides Museum and Rosa Parks Museum enriched students’ experience by providing guided tours full of told and untold Alabama stories.

Alabama History Day continues to grow statewide
In 2024, the state’s first-ever regional contest was held in South Alabama. Idrissa N. Snider, Ph.D., serves as AHA’s History Day coordinator and has worked persistently to develop the program. Dr. Snider, and a pair of teacher ambassadors designated to serve North and South Alabama, provide virtual and in-person assistance to educators and administrators interested in offering History Day to their students.

“A program like Alabama History Day provides an invaluable opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds to delve into a history topic of their choice,” expressed Dr. Idrissa N. Snider, Ph.D., Coordinator of Alabama History Day. “Through this process, we aim to cultivate more informed and responsible citizens who understand the complexities of history and its relevance to contemporary society.”

The Alabama Humanities Alliance invites teachers, judges, and students from across the state to participate in Alabama History Day 2025. Next year’s date and theme will be announced this summer. Teachers use Alabama History Day as a project-based learning tool, and to spark creativity, camaraderie, and healthy competition in the classroom. AHD staff offer “Alabama History Day & Donuts” in-person introductions, as well as more immersive teacher workshops, student summer camps, and virtual Q&As for judges and teachers.

Alabama History Day is made possible thanks to AHA’s partnership with National History Day. Support for the program comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ “A More Perfect Union” initiative and from Alabama Power. The Alabama Humanities Alliance also awarded 2024 special topic prizes of excellence thanks to partnerships with the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Alabama Historical Association, Alabama Public Television, David Mathews Center for Civic Life, Interstate Character Council, National Maritime Historical Society, and Sons of the American Revolution.

Learn more at

About the Alabama Humanities Alliance
Founded in 1974, the nonprofit Alabama Humanities Alliance serves as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. AHA promotes impactful storytelling, lifelong learning and civic engagement. We provide Alabamians with opportunities to connect with our shared cultures and to see each other as fully human. Through our grantmaking, we help scholars, communities and cultural nonprofits create humanities-rich projects that are accessible to all Alabamians — from literary festivals and documentary films to museum exhibitions and research collections. Learn more at


PRESS CONTACT: Phillip Jordan | 205.558.3998 | [email protected]

Alabama History Day winners head to nation’s capital

BIRMINGHAM / JUNE 7, 2023 — This month, 27 Alabama students and educators will travel to Maryland and Washington, D.C., to compete at National History Day. The NHD competition, set for June 11-15, enables students in grades 6-12 to conduct high-level research on a topic of their choice and present their studies in creative ways. The presentations include papers, exhibits, performances, documentaries, or websites. NHD winners can qualify for scholarships and some may even have their work displayed at the Smithsonian.

Who are these students representing Alabama in our nation’s capital?

Back in March, nearly 200 students from across Alabama gathered at Auburn University in Montgomery to compete in Alabama History Day, the statewide contest organized by the Alabama Humanities Alliance. More than 40 participating students won first- or second-place honors in their category to qualify for National History Day.

More than a single day, AHA’s History Day program offers year-long benefits. The program provides teachers with a dynamic project-based learning tool that can be built into their history curriculum. Teachers can also attend ongoing History Day training workshops and students can join in summer enrichment opportunities.

Even in the height of the pandemic, Alabama History Day still provided space for young scholars to develop. In 2022, 28 students won awards in a virtual statewide contest. In 2023, that number increased to 63 students who were awarded first, second, or third place. AHA’s History Day continues to set the stage for youth to grow beyond their current understanding of themselves and the world around them.

“Research helps you better connect to the world and your community,” says Idrissa Snider, Ph.D., program coordinator for Alabama History Day. “And it helps you learn more about yourself. When our students have these ‘aha moments,’ they’re building their confidence as learners, too.”

Indeed, History Day gives students preparation academically and interpersonally so that they can thrive as students, and eventually as professionals. “Whether a child wants to be a rocket scientist, teacher, or truck driver, they have to sit down and interview,” Snider says. “They must look confidently in the eyes of someone else and speak. The sooner kids start being able to speak in front of others, they become more prepared for the real world.”

For some students, National History Day marks the first time they’ll travel beyond their hometowns and earn recognition for their work. And several have already scored big honors in the nation’s capital:

“History Day illustrates how important it is to have young people from around the state, from all types of backgrounds, coming together in a space and putting their unique interests out there,” Sniders says. “We can learn to have different opinions, outlets, perspectives, or whatever the case may be. And we can respect others’ opinions and thoughts.”


Learn more about the impact of Alabama History Day by viewing our film Welcome to History Day. If you or someone you know would like to bring AHD to your school contact Idrissa N. Snider, Ph.D., at [email protected].