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2017 NHD Theme: Taking a Stand in History

2017 NHD Theme: Taking a Stand in History

2017 Theme: Taking a Stand in History

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an opportunity for students to push past the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding.

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.

Topics can come from any geographic area or time period. Local history and world history make equally good sources of NHD topics, and you can explore your interests from ancient history to more recent events.

Students need to think about a topic that will explore the theme for the 2017 contest. Students are forced to also ask questions of cause and effect, time and place, change over time, and impact and significance. They must ask not only when events happened but also why they happened and what their impact was.

Students compete in either Junior (grades 6-8) or Senior (grades 9-12) divisions. Students can present their knowledge in a variety of ways through the categories of Documentaries, Exhibits, Papers, Performances, or Websites. They may choose to work individually or in a group except for the Paper category where they must work individually. Projects should include an investigation into available primary and secondary sources, analysis of evidence, and a clear explanation of the relationship of the topic to the theme.

The New Mexico State contest is April 28, 2017, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. If you would like more information, call Ellen Dornan, New Mexico State History Day Coordinator, at 505-633-7372.

2017 Theme Book: Taking a Stand in History »

Choosing a History Day Topic »

Taking a Stand in New Mexico History »

2017 Thesis Development Worksheet »

Why Teach with a Theme? »

More 2017 Theme Resources from NHD »


There are two divisions: Junior and Senior. Junior division is for grades 6-8; senior division is grades 9-12.

The categories are Exhibit, Documentary, Paper, Performance, and Website. Except for the Paper category, which must be done individually, students may work individually or in a group of up to five students.

Exhibit Resources

If you would like a free copy of How to Create a Historical Exhibit, please contact Ellen at

Guide to making exhibits »

Exhibit tips »

Website Resources


1) Make sure each website has a URL recorded (it should be an 8-digit number on

2) Make sure that the websites are NOT password protected.

3) Make sure all websites have been published so judges can open them. Hit the orange "PUBLISH" button.

4) Make sure the Weebly username and password is on the registration page so we can troubleshoot any issues after registration closes.

It is helpful to put your student-written text into a writing application (MS Word) and check your word count. Then you can easily paste your words into the provided plagiarism checker. Your "Unique Content" score should be above 92%. It will give you the source of questionable phrases so you can revise your text.