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National Contest Info

2017 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest

Date: June 11-15, 2017

Location: University of Maryland

About the Contest: Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest is the final stage of a series of contests at local and state/affiliate levels. Students begin their journey by presenting their projects in classrooms, schools, and districts around the world. Top entries are invited to the state/affiliate level contests. The top two entries in every category at the state/affiliate level are then invited to the National Contest, the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. The contest is named for Mr. Behring in recognition of his generous support of history education and National History Day®.

Each year nearly 3,000 students with their families and teachers gather at the University of Maryland, College Park for the week-long event. These enthusiastic groups come from all over the United States, Guam, American Samoa, and international schools in China, Korea, South Asia, and Central America. The NHD excitement can be felt across the campus. After spending months on project research and preparation, and competing at local and affiliate contests, these students are eager to show their hard work at the national level.

annual history day theme

Each year the National History Day office selects a broad theme for the History Day contest. Students may choose any topic related to local, regional, national, or world history, as long as his or her research and conclusions clearly relate to the theme. Judges look for evidence that the theme has been adequately addressed in all History Day projects. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see a list of past and upcoming annual themes.
2017 Annual Theme

past history day themes

  • 2016 – Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History
  • 2015 – Leadership and Legacy in History
  • 2014 – Rights and Responsibilities in History
  • 2013 – Turning Points in History
  • 2012 – Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History
  • 2011 – Debate and Diplomacy in History:Successes, Failures, Consequences
  • 2010 – Innovation in History
  • 2009 – The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies
  • 2008 – Conflict and Compromise in History
  • 2007 – Triumph and Tragedy in History
  • 2006 – Taking a Stand in History
  • 2005 – Communication in History: The Key to Understanding
  • 2004 – Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History
  • 2003 – Rights and Responsibilities in History
  • 2002 – Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History

CONTEST RULES

National History Day Rule Book!

The National History Day Contest Rulebook was updated for the 2014-2015 contest year. This rule book replaces all older versions.

Please read it over carefully as multiple categories have been updated.

National History Day Contest Rule Book
Summary of Significant Changes to Contest Rule Book

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