Alabama History Day

Alabama History Day is the state affiliate contest of National History Day, a history competition that engages students (grades 6-12) in robust and creative historical research.

Get ready for 2022!

About Alabama History Day

Alabama History Day fosters interdisciplinary academic programs focused on historical research, interpretation and creative expression for 6th- to 12th-grade students. Each year, National History Day announces an annual theme to which students respond by investigating primary and secondary historical sources relating to a themed topic of their choice. They then synthesize their findings and interpretations into one of five presentation categories: Paper, Documentary, Website, Performance, or Exhibit. Students may work individually or in groups of up to five. By participating in Alabama History Day, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history.

The experience culminates in a series of contests, which in some cases begin at the local level. Students then progress to our state competition, traditionally held between mid-March and mid-April. Winning competitors are eligible to move on to the National History Day competition held in Washington, D. C., each June.


Past Alabama History Day Winners:


Alabama History Day 2022

Registration to come! 

Visit the links below to learn more about how you can engage in the Alabama History Day contest or create an account to register. 

Welcome, Alabama History Day students!

The Alabama History Day staff invites you to get creative and demonstrate your critical thinking skills in our annual competition. The best thing about this competition is that YOU select the topic and the presentation format! We have a ton of guides and other resources to help you along the way, whether you build a website, create an exhibit, write a paper, prepare a live performance or film a documentary.

You may work solo or in groups of up to five students. Also, remember that groups can be made up of students in different grade levels, as long as you are in the same division. 

  • Junior Division – grades 6-8
  • Senior Division – grades 9-12

If group projects are your thing, start texting your friends and classmates, and get to work!


Getting started

First things first! Review the National History Day rule book with your teacher and family. This will be your guide to a successful project. You can find the rule book HERE. The Spanish version of the rule book can be found HERE.


Review the theme

Before you select a topic, you want to find inspiration in the national theme. The 2022 theme is Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences. You can find the annual theme book HERE and the theme video HERE.


Select a topic

Begin by thinking about a time in history or individuals or events that are interesting to you. Start a list of ideas.

    • – Read books, blogs, and newspapers.
    • – Review websites, news reports, and podcasts.
    • – Talk with relatives, neighbors, or other people you know who have lived through a particular time in history that interests you.
    • – Keep thinking, reading, and talking to people until you have many ideas that are interesting.
    • – Consider Alabama History Day and National History Day Special Awards topics
    • National History Day Special Awards


Now go back through the list and circle the ideas that you can easily connect with the theme. From the ideas that you circled, select one to begin your research.

National History Day has also developed a helpful “theme graphic organizer” to help determine topic ideas. 

Research, Research, Research

After identifying a topic, students must explain the impact and significance in history. Students will need to develop an argument for the historical impact of the person, event, pattern or idea being studied. Read the breakdown of process below.

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From citations to word count, it's important to review the submission requirements for formatting. Students must be with the proper documentation and prepared to answer judges' questions about the project content.

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Special Awards

Each year a variety of Special Awards are offered during the Alabama History Day contest to recognize student achievement in a particular topic area. Read the descriptions below to learn about this year’s Special Award offerings.

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The National History Day affiliate coordinator for Alabama is Rachel Hartsell, program coordinator at the Alabama Humanities Alliance. For more information, contact Rachel at 205.558.3996 or