History Day

June 20, 2020 Update

After months of intensive research and success at district, county, and state-level competitions, three California entries and seven students earned top honors at the 2020 Virtual National History Day Contest June 14-20. In addition, eleven California entries were named finalists and two entries were named Outstanding In State. More than 3,000 students from 50 states and 7 international affiliates participated in the contest.

WATCH the 2020 NHD Virtual Awards Ceremony

National Winners from Riverside County

Senior Group Performance
2nd Place
Tinker v. Des Moines: Breaking Barriers for Students’ First Amendment Rights
Students: Avery Hansberger, Danielle Cabrera & Katherine Savage
Teacher: Ned Hocking
Martin Luther King High School & John W. North High School – Riverside County

National Finalists from Riverside County 

Senior Individual Documentary (5th & Global Peace Prize)
Nixon’s Trip to China: Breaking a Diplomatic Barrier
Student: Allison Bushong
Teacher: Ned Hocking
Martin Luther King High School – Riverside County

Junior Individual Documentary (6th)
Ryan White: Breaking the Silence of AIDS while Tearing Down Barriers of Discrimination for Its Victims
Student: Eleanor Sosa
Teacher: Kent Byer
Amelia Earhart Middle School – Riverside County

Junior Individual Documentary (5th)
Sisters in the Brotherhood: Burning Barriers in Firefighting
Student: Zachary Brasher
Teacher: Andrew Gonzalez
Dr. Augustine Ramirez Intermediate School – Riverside County

In March, 414 students competed in the Riverside County Virtual Competition. From that competition, 151 students moved on to the NHD-CA Virtual Competition. In May, 10 students moved on from the State Competition to the National Competition. In June, of the 10 students that moved on from NHD-CA to the National History Day Competition, 3 students (1 project) were named a National Winner and 3 students (3 projects) were named California National Finalists. A total of 4 of the 5 Riverside County projects were given high honors out of the 3,000 students competition at the National Level. Congratulations to all!

June 3, 2020 Update

For students that want to get ideas for the 2021 NHD competition, here are some helpful resources:




The Riverside County Office of Education is proud to announce that 10 students (5 entries) were honored as Champions to move on to the National Competition. Below is the list of the students that are representing Riverside County.

If you would like to follow along with the National History Day activities or view the projects that are competing at the National Level, you may visit the following links:

NHD-CA Junior & Senior Division Champions

Individual Documentary Junior
Sisters in the Brotherhood: Burning Barriers in Firefighting
Corona-Norco USD
Dr. Augustine Ramirez Intermediate School
Zachary Brasher

Individual Documentary Junior
Ryan White: Breaking the Silence of AIDS while Tearing Down Barriers of Discrimination for its Victims
Riverside USD
Amelia Earhart Middle School
Ellie Sosa

Group Performance Junior
Eunice Kennedy and the Special Olympics: Breaking Barriers by Including the Excluded
Moreno Valley USD
Vista Heights Middle School
Peyton English
Rossana Chavez
Ava Rodriguez
Ruby Montes De Oca

Individual Documentary Senior
Nixon’s Trip to China: Breaking a Diplomatic Barrier
Riverside USD
Martin Luther King High School
Allison Bushong

Individual Performance Senior
Dr. Bailey, Baby Fae and Baby Moses: Breaking the Barrier of Infant Heart Transplants
Moreno Valley USD
Vista Heights Middle School
Bella Rodriguez

Group Performance Senior
Tinker v. Des Moines: Breaking Barriers for Students’ First Amendment Rights
Riverside USD
John W. North High School
Danielle Cabrera
Avery Hansberger
Katie Savage

May 4, 2020 Update

NHD announced next year’s theme early!
Communication in History: The Key to Understanding
Feel free to send it out to your teachers and students so they can start thinking about possible topics they may be interested in.

*2020-21 History Day Important Information such as registration forms, dates, and documents such as the rulebook for Riverside County, California, or National levels have not been updated yet. An email will be sent to History Day Coordinators when new information is released. Current information will also be posted on this Web page.


National History Day 2021 Communication in History: The Key to Understanding

In a special video message, Dr. Gorn provides a glimpse into what she has been doing at home during this time of social distancing and makes an exception to allow students to begin thinking about their 2021 National History Day projects based on the theme of Communication in History: The Key to Understanding. Watch Dr. Gorn’s video and check out the 2021 theme narrative below!

Check out the 2021 theme narrative!

March 20, 2020 Update – Virtual NHD-CA registration and submission information.
Please use the following information to check CHAMPION entries moving on to the NHD-CA Virtual Competition and for directions for registration and entry submission.

We appreciate your patience with us as we work through the details regarding History Day. We are grateful for the outpouring of community support and willingness to work with us through a virtual process of submission.

Since the cancellation of the event, some emerging details have surfaced that would allow us to move forward with a virtual event. The deadline for submissions to the State has been extended to April 1st. We are confident that we can develop a process of virtual submission and subsequent judging while meeting the deadline.  Monday morning, key stakeholders at the county office met to lay out a plan of submission, judging, public viewing, and awards.

Key Dates

  • March 19, 2020, 11:59 p.m.
    Entry Submission due via Provided Google Form
  • March 23-27, 2020
    Judging Window/Consensus “Run Off”
  • March 27, 2020, 3:00 p.m.
    Virtual Awards Ceremony
  • April 1, 2020
    Submission of RCOE Finalists to State
    Champion Entries – Students and Teachers must register individually on the NHD-CA Virtual Competition Website
  • April 15, 202
    NHD-CA Submissions due for Documentary, Paper, and Website Entries
  • April 24, 2020
    NHD-CA Submissions due for Exhibit, Poster, and Performance Entries

We recognize that in light of district closures throughout the county, accessibility may become an issue for participants in terms of submission requirements. Please reach out to the Leadership, Innovation, and Outreach Department immediately if you anticipate or are experiencing issues submitting entries. We will work with you throughout the process.

Grades 4-12

National History Day (NHD) is a year-long educational program in which students in grades 4-12 become historians.

After selecting a historical topic that relates to an annual theme, students conduct extensive research by using libraries, archives, museums, and oral history interviews. They analyze and interpret their findings, draw conclusions about the significance of their topics in history, and create final projects to present their work. These projects can be used at the school site for rich project-based learning experiences and/or entered into a series of competitions from the local to the national level, where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators.

Within Riverside County, the competition begins at the school level, with winners advancing to a district competition, then to the county level. Riverside County winners advance to the NHD-CA State Competition and state winners then advance to the national competition held in June each year.

2019 National History Day-Riverside County Competition Highlights
2019 History Day Press Release | History Day Photo Gallery

Important Dates

July, 2019
History Day 2019-2020 Begins
“Breaking Barriers in History”
September 5, 2019
Riverside County History Day Teacher Orientation
RCOE Conference Center, 3958 Twelfth Street, Riverside | 4:00 p.m.
February 18, 2020
District Registration Deadline
(includes all student registration forms and judge requirement)
February 28, 2020
Historical Papers Submission Deadline
Websites locked as of 11:59 p.m.
February 28, 2020
Documentaries Submission Deadline
March 19, 2020
Entry Submission Deadline
March 23-27, 2020
Riverside County National History Day Judging Window/Consensus “Run Off”
March 27, 2020, 3:00 p.m.
Riverside County National History Day Virtual Awards Ceremony
Friday – Sunday,
May 8-10, 2020
NHD-CA State Competition
William Jessup University, Rocklin
Sunday – Thursday,
June 14-18, 2020 
National History Day Competition
University of Maryland, College Park

Dates subject to change.

**Historical papers with annotated bibliography must be submitted, in PDF, to rramsey@rcoe.us

History Day Volunteer Registration

Please register using our History Day Judge Form.


2019-2020 Registration Form

2019-2020 Entry Registration Form

2019-2020 Student Participation Form


Riverside County History Day Rulebook

2019-2020 NHD-CA Theme Sheet 

2019-2020 NHD Theme Information – Breaking Barriers in History

2019-2020 NHD Theme Book

NHD Delivers the New California HSS Framework

History Day Project Rubric

Resources provided by National Archives at Riverside:

Introduction for NHD Teachers

Types and Examples of Archival Repositories

Example of Sources Available on Topic (The “Zoot Suit” Riots)

Example of Sources Available on Topic (Challenging Racial Segregation in Southern California Schools)

Selecting a Research Topic

Theme Ideas