Texas History Day State Contest*

Saturday, April 20, 2024

University of Texas at Austin

This year’s theme is Turning Points in History

*make sure to register at the closest regional contest to you, that is the first step in competition for Texas History Day

Why Texas Students Love History Day

Discover why Texas students love to participate in Texas History Day and National History Day. In this video, you will hear testimonials from students, teachers, and parents who have participated in the past.


Texas History Day 2023 Results

Category Results

Special Award Results

Junior Division Finals Rounds

Senior Division Finals Rounds

Fort Bend ISD Student Wins Texas History Day T-Shirt Design Contest

Texas State Historical Association announced the winner of the Texas History Day (THD) T-Shirt Design Contest, Sophi Li, 8th Grader from Fort Settlement Middle School, created the winning design!

Students from across the state submitted their own designs for the National History Day theme for 2023, “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.”  The student design also needed to have a connection to Texas. The winning student receives $250 and a free THD t-shirt.

“I’m impressed by the talent that the student submissions showcased.  We are proud to make Sophi’s design a reality,” said Andy Osborne, owner of AJL Advertising Specialties.  AJL sponsors the THD Design contest and also prints the t-shirts that are made available for purchase during the THD state contest on Saturday, April 15, 2023 in Austin.  

For the full press release, click here.


National History Day and Pearl Harbor Historic Sites Provided Learning, Research, and All Expenses Paid Trips to Hawaiʻi for Select Students

[added September 7, 2022]

This summer two Texas students and their teachers took part in an elite cooperative learning program this summer in Hawaiʻi, Sacrifice for Freedom®: World War II in the Pacific Student & Teacher Institute:

Mr. Rhett Carter (teacher); Dhilan Nag, Senior (student); Plano East Senior High School; Plano, Texas

Mrs. Megan Souchek (teacher); Carter Holton, Senior (student); New Caney High School; New Caney, Texas The program, coordinated through National History Day®, was sponsored by the Pearl Harbor Historic Site Partners, including Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, Pacific Historic Parks, USS Missouri Memorial Association, and Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum at Pearl Harbor. The students–Dhilan Nag (Senior) of Plano East Senior High School and Carter Holton (Senior) at New Caney High School–were selected from 54 teams who applied for the competitive summer institute. Each student traveled to participate in the institute with their sponsoring teacher.

Dhilan, Carter, and their teacher-sponsors are longtime participants in the Texas History Day program, the state affiliate of the National History Day program. Dhilan has competed in Texas History Day the last three years, receiving first place his freshman year and his sophomore year, and then second his junior year in the Senior Group Website category. Teacher Rhett Carter has sponsored numerous Plano East students to compete in the Dallas Area Regional contest and has had several students advance to the state competition.Carter Holton has competed in Texas History Day for two years in Senior Individual Exhibit, placing second in the state in 2020 and first in 2021; each time he advanced to the National History Day competition. In 2021, Carter won first place at Nationals with his exhibit on the 1900 Galveston hurricane, “The 1900 Storm.” Megan Souchek, a teacher at New Caney High School, consistently has students advance to state each year; the last two years, she has consistently had students advance to Nationals.

During spring 2022, students and teachers read historical texts and primary documents, participated in online discussions, and researched the life of a fallen military member from the student’s region who is buried or memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Over the summer, the teams then headed to Hawaiʻi to engage in on-site learning opportunities, such as spending a night aboard The USS Missouri and visiting with military and local historians at the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites and across the island of Oahu.

“Spending a night aboard the USS Missouri was an absolutely remarkable experience. As an Eagle Scout, it was an honor to participate in a color guard on the ship the evening we arrived,” reflected Dhilan Nag. “The staff gave us a breathtaking tour of the ship, and I especially remember the starboard side where I witnessed the sites of both a tragic kamikaze strike and the 1945 surrender of the Japanese Empire. I would relive this program 100 times more if I could.”

For the full press release click here.

Texas History Day Teacher Selected for Revolutionary Ideals, Summer Institute in Rhode Island

[added February 22, 2022]

Dr. Joseph Russell, American Studies teacher at Plano East High School, has been selected to represent Texas History Day (THD), an affiliate of National History Day (NHD), at a unique summer institute called Revolutionary Ideals, where 30 teachers from across the country will study the American Revolution and Founding Era in Providence, Rhode Island, during summer 2022. NHD is working with the Rhode Island Historical Society, which will be celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2022, on programming, events, and site visits.

Dr. Russell has sponsored numerous Plano East students in Texas History Day and guided them through the Dallas Area Regional contest where several students have advanced to the state competition and then the national contest. He also was named an NHD Master Teacher in February 2022 where he helped to develop a set of student guides that will connect NHD categories with resources in the Library of Congress. 

Over the course of six months, the selected teachers will learn about and research the context of the ideals behind the American Revolution and Early Republic. After the institute, teachers will work in pairs to create lesson plans relating to the founding ideals of the revolutionary era.

Teachers will travel to Rhode Island and engage in site-specific learning coordinated by the Rhode Island Historical Society from July 10 to July 17, 2022. The program culminates with teachers submitting lesson plans for an upcoming NHD publication.

Revolutionary Ideals is one aspect of National History Day’s programming under the larger initiative A More Perfect Union. To that end, NHD is partnering with various partners to commemorate the semiquincentennial of the United States.

Revolutionary Ideals is generously funded by Tom Lauer.

For full press release, click here.

Two Texas History Day Student-Teacher Teams Chosen for Elite NHD Summer Institute in Hawai’i

[added January 20, 2022]

Dhilan Nag of Plano East High School and Carter Holton of New Caney High School, along with their sponsoring teachers (Rhett Carter–Plano East High School and Megan Souchek–New Caney High School) are going to Hawai’i! They were selected from 54 applicants to be part of the 16 team group to participate in the Sacrifice for Freedom®: World War II in the Pacific Student and Teacher Institute through National History Day. The program is sponsored by the Pearl Harbor Historic Site Partners, including Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, Pacific Historic Parks, USS Missouri Memorial Association, and the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum at Pearl Harbor.

Each student/teacher team will travel to Hawai’i–all expenses paid–to participate in the institute.  Over the spring, they will participate in a research project concerning World War II in the Pacific and concentrate on an individual from that time period from Texas. They will travel to Hawaiʻi in July to engage in on-site learning opportunities, including spending a night aboard The USS Missouri and visiting with military and local historians at the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites and across the island of Oahu.

The Texas State Historical Association is so proud of these students and their teachers, who are longtime participants in the Texas History Day program. 

For the full press release click here.

Texas’s Own, Max Grinstein, Talks About His National First Place Jr. Historical Paper

[added August 19, 2020]

Max Grinstein won the top prize at National History Day in June with his Junior Historical Paper on the Fifth Circuit Four and their instrumental role in desegregating the Deep South. Grinstein spoke to “Our American Stories,” a nationally syndicated radio program, about his interesting topic! Have a listen: “Our American Stories”-Max Grinstein.

What is Texas History Day?

Each year thousands of students, encouraged by teachers and parents statewide, participate in the National History Day program in Texas. Texas History Day, an affiliate of NHD and is a highly regarded academic program for 6th through 12th grade students. Each year more than 65,000 Texas students join more than 500,000 students across the country for National History Day!

Texas History Day provides a framework for successful student projects. Each student bases their project on the same annual theme and rule book. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research at libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and more. Projects are not limited to any particular time period or geographic area. After analyzing and interpreting their source material, create a plan to present their findings to the peers and teachers before moving on to regional, state, and possibly national contests. Students can create and present original research papers, exhibits, performances, websites, and documentaries.

The student projects may be entered into competitions in the spring at one of our regional contests across Texas. Winners from each regional competition will advance to the state contest in Austin. Students who place first or second at our state contest advance to the National Contest held each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park.

In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, Texas History Day also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills   
  • Project management skills
  • Research and reading skills
  • Teamwork
  • Oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • Self-esteem and confidence

The Texas National History Day Program not only teaches students about history, it encourages them to participate in history!

Contest Information

NHD provides a framework for student project development. Students must research and build their project using the annual theme and NHD rules to participate in the contest. NHD is open to all students from 6th – 12th grades. Students may qualify for a number of special awards at the contest. In addition, the best entries from the paper category may be eligible for publication in the Texas Historian, the official journal of the Junior Historians of Texas.

Once you have chosen a historical topic related to the annual theme you will conduct primary and secondary research to prepare you to create your project. After you have analyzed and interpreted your sources and have drawn a conclusion about the significance of your topic, you will then be able to present your work in one of five ways: as a research paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a website. Each of the categories except papers can be created by a group of two to five students.

In the spring, you may enter your work into the regional contest where it will be judged by educators, professors, museum staff, and historians. If your work is chosen as one of the best, you will move on to the state’s NHD contest. As a winner at your state NHD contest, you will be eligible to attend the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June. This is where the best National History Day projects from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, International Schools of Asia, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe all meet and compete.

NHD Works

NHD provides a framework for success. It teaches essential skills, boosts performance, prepares students for college, and inspires participants to do more than they ever imagined they could. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out the National History Day Works program evaluation and see for yourself what NHD does for our Texas students.