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Annual Theme

Webpage last updated: July 20, 2023

Each year National History Day selects a theme that is intentionally broad enough so that you can select topics from anywhere in the world and any time period. During the 2023—2024 school year you and all National History Day students will dive into a topic based on the theme, Turning Points in History. You will ask questions about time, place and context, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance. You must consider not only when and where events happened, but also why they occurred, and what factors contributed to their development. You will describe your topic and then further develop it through analysis, drawing conclusions about how the topic influenced and was influenced by people, ideas, or events. 

After deciding on your research topic, you must investigate historical context, historical significance, and the topic's relationship to the theme by conducting research in libraries, archives, and museums; through oral history interviews; and by visiting historic sites. Also remember to use evidence from your research to explain how your topic has influenced history. In other words, answer the question, "So What?"

Download a copy of this year’s theme book and theme related resources here.


For information:
National History Day®
4511 Knox Road, Suite 205
College Park, Maryland 20740
Phone: (301) 314-9739
Fax: (301) 314-9767