Theme of the Year

2015 THEME - Leadership & Legacy in History

Each year, National History Day establishes a broad theme for history fair competition. Students may choose a specific topic from any era of local, regional, state, national, or world history, but their projects must demonstrate clearly how their topics relate to the annual theme. Relevance to the annual theme is an important criterion in the judging of history fair entries in all categories.

Students should be careful to limit the scope of their chosen topic to make the research and interpretation manageable. In other words, students should narrow their topics to focus on an issue that can be explained and interpreted within the limits of their project category.

Effective history fair projects not only describe an event or a development, they also analyze it and place it in its historical context. Students should ask questions about the topic's development over time and its impact in history. Answers to such questions will help in drawing conclusions about the topic's significance in history. Ask the following questions about the topic:

  • How is this topic important?
  • How is this topic significant in history in relation to the yearly theme?
  • How did this topic develop over time?
  • How did this topic influence history?
  • How did the events and atmosphere (social, economic, political, and cultural aspects) of this topic's time period influence this topic in history?

For more information about the 2015 theme, please see the "Annual Theme" page created by National History Day and the Texas History Day site created by the Texas State Historical Association. National History Day provides a theme book, sample topics list and more. The Texas History Day site includes a "Project Resources" page which includes list of topics with a Texas focus.

HOTRHF NOTE: This page is up to date for 2015