Alabama History Day

Alabama History Day is the state affiliate contest of National History Day, a history competition that engages 6th-12th grade students in robust historical research.

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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 AHD, 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 2021

Access instructions for AHD2021 registration procedures HERE.

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

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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 2021 theme is Communication in History: The Key to Understanding. You can find the annual theme book HERE and the theme video HERE.


To better contextualize the 2021 theme, view the 2021 NHD Theme Webinar. The accompanying slides to the webinar can be found 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.


To explore topic ideas for the 2021 theme within the context of Alabama history, view a special Alabama 2021 NHD theme webinar HERE.


This year, NHD has developed a supplementary theme graphic organizer to help determine topic ideas. Access the organizer HERE.

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 NHD affiliate coordinator for Alabama is AHA Special Projects Coordinator Laura Anderson. For more information, contact Laura at 205.558.3992 or