Alabama History Day

Alabama History Day is the state affiliate contest of National History Day, a history competition that engages middle school and high school students in robust and creative historical research. Congrats to all our 2022 Alabama History Day participants!

Meet our 2022 History Day winners

About Alabama History Day

Alabama History Day fosters interdisciplinary historical research, interpretation, and creative expression. Each year, National History Day announces an annual theme to which students respond by investigating primary and secondary historical sources relating to a topic of their choice. They then synthesize their findings and present them in one of five categories: Paper, Documentary, Website, Performance, or Exhibit. Students 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.

Students compete in our state competition, traditionally held in April. Winning competitors are eligible to move on to National History Day in Washington, D. C., each June.


History Day 2022


If you have any questions about Alabama History Day 2022, please contact Rachel Hartsell at 205.558.3996 or


Past Alabama History Day Winners:


Congrats to our 2022 National History Day 'Teacher of the Year' nominee!

Welcome, 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, 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
    • – Check out National History Day student resources


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

Research, Research, Research

After identifying a topic, you must explain its significance in history. Develop an argument for the historical impact of the person, event, pattern or idea being studied.

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From citations to word count, it's important to review the submission requirements for formatting. You must provide the proper documentation and be prepared to answer judges' questions about your research and presentation.

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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 particular topic areas. Many of the awards come with cash prizes from our partners.

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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