History Day

2020-21 UPDATE

As we head into to 2020-21 academic events seasons, the Riverside Office of Education realizes that students, teachers, and families are eager to find out what the competition environment will consist of for students. Over the past few months national, state, and county coordinators have been actively discussing, planning, and creating virtual and blended models in response to current public health restrictions. 

In the next few weeks, you can expect to learn about:

    1. RCOE’s event rulebooks with updated procedures for virtual and possibly blended competition settings.
    2. Riverside County student event registration information
    3. State and National Competition Updates

RCOE wants to express gratitude in all those that are working to create the best possible learning environments for all students during the current circumstances and your patience as our staff and event partners put the finishing touches on the 2020-21 Academic Events. We want to ensure you that the safety of our students, staff, and families has been and will continue to be our number one priority.

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.

2020 National History Day Media Release

2020 Riverside County Student Ellie Sosa Produces Documentary that Reaches National History Day Competition Media Release

2020 Riverside County History Day Student Zachary Brasher Ready for National History Day Documentary Competition Media Release

Important Dates

July, 2020
History Day 2020-2021 Begins
“Communication in History: The Key to Understanding”
September 9, 2020
Riverside County History Day Teacher Orientation
via Zoom | 4:00 p.m.
February 11, 2021
District Registration Deadline
(includes all student registration forms and judge requirement)
February 18, 2021
Historical Papers Submission Deadline
Documentaries Submission Deadline
Websites Submission Deadline – Websites locked as of 11:59 p.m.
February 25, 2021
Posters, Exhibit, and Performance Submission Deadline
Thursday – Wednesday,
March 4-10, 2021
Riverside County National History Day Judging Window
Thursday – Friday,
March 11-12, 2021
Riverside County National History Day Competition Viewing
Riverside County National History Day Virtual  Awards Ceremony
Friday – Sunday,
May 7-9, 2021
NHD-CA State Virtual Competition
Thursday – Monday,
June 10-14, 2021 
National History Day Virtual Competition

Dates and location 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. (will be available September 2020)


2020-2021 Registration Form (will be available September 2020)

2020-2021 Entry Registration Form (will be available September 2020)

2020-2021 Student Participation Form (will be available September 2020)


2020-2021 Riverside County History Day Rulebook (will be available September 2020)

History Day Project Rubric (will be available September, 2020)

2020-2021 NHD Significant Rule Changes
National History Day has revised the Contest Rule Book. Changes to the rules impact student participation at each level of the competition. There are many changes; this summary explains the most significant changes and clarifications. Teachers and students should read and refer to the Contest Rule Book for exact wording, full explanations, and examples of these changes. Contact your county coordinator rramsey@rcoe.us with any questions. Further details of the Riverside County level competition will be updated in the Riverside County History Day Rulebook in September 2020.

2020-2021 NHD Theme Information including introductory Video, Theme Book, and Graphic Organizer

Resources provided by State National History Day Programs:

NHD-California Resources

NHD-Minnesota Resources

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