Taking A Stand in History

Why Teach a Theme?

Every year National History Day® frames students’ research within a historical theme. The theme is chosen for the broad application to world, national, or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past. This year’s theme is Taking a Stand in History. The intentional selection of the theme for NHD is to provide an opportunity for students to push past the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding.

See past annual themes.


The NHD theme provides a focused way to increase students’ historical understanding by developing a lens to read history, an organizational structure that helps students place information in the correct context and finally, the ability to see connections over time.



The 2017 Taking A Stand in History Theme Webinar

Watch the video on SchoolTube!

Theme Book Resources
Newseum Resource for Coxey's Army
Ten Strategies for Using Chronicling America in Your Classroom
Learn More About the Flying Tigers


Read The 2017 Theme Book

2017 Theme Sheet and Sample Topics
Download the 2017 Theme Book
Category Infographics

These infographics help explain the five categories in the National History Day Contest.

V-O-L-C-A-N-O Worksheet

A helpful worksheet to assist students and teacher in Taking A Stand in History.

Theme Videos

Multiple organizations made videos about the Taking A Stand in History theme. They help students pick topics and learn about research resources.