Theme Information

2014 Theme: Rights and Responsibilities in History

The 2014 History Day theme, “Rights and Responsibilities in History,” provides an opportunity for students to take a deeper look at the different forms rights can take and how responsibilities relate. Exploring the correlation between rights and responsibilites should be the focus when choosing a topic, not simply focusing on one or the other.


Each year, the National History Day office chooses a theme to help students direct their research to show a connection between the theme and their topics. The themes that are chosen are broad, allowing students to research topics on all levels from local history to ancient history. In order to draw a connection to the theme students must understand the historical significance of their topic and answer questions about time, place, and context. Understanding the impact and significance of the topic will help define why the topic is important and draw this connection to the theme.

Future History Day Themes

(Subject to change by the National History Day office)

2015 - Leadership & Legacy in History

2016 - Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History

Past History Day Themes

2000 - Turning Points in History
2001 - Frontiers in History
2002 - Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History
2003 - Rights and Responsibilities in History
2004 - Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History
2005 - Communication in History: The Key to Understanding
2006 - Taking a Stand in History
2007 - Triumph and Tragedy in History
2008 - Conflict and Compromise in History
2009 - The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies
2010 - Innovation in History: Impact and Change
2011 - Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences
2012 - Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History
2013 - Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events

The theme changes every year, so if you do History Day every year, you will not repeat a theme.