Hundreds of Students Participate in Annual Tennessee History Day Competition

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Recently, 219 students from across the state participated in the 2024 Tennessee History Day Competition for a chance to represent the Volunteer State at National History Day later this summer.

Cosponsored by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office, the annual competition produced 65 winners in project categories including documentary, exhibit, performance, website, and paper at the junior and senior levels (or middle and high school levels, respectively).

“Congratulations to this year’s winners and to the more than 7,500 students that participate in Tennessee History Day,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Tennessee History Day is a powerful platform for our future leaders to explore and learn. It also provides them with a greater awareness and appreciation of Tennessee’s earliest citizens and how the foundations they laid helped pave the way for us, our communities, and the state we call home.”

Advancing students placed first or second in their categories at Tennessee History Day on Saturday, April 20. This contest also sets the stage for the National History Day® (NHD) National Contest, taking place June 9-13 in College Park, Maryland, where the organization will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

“It was wonderful seeing students from across the state gather in Nashville to display their research,” says Tennessee History Day State Coordinator Nikki Ward. “We saw engaging projects that used primary sources effectively and creatively. Congratulations to the students and teachers who attended!”

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, this year’s NHD theme is Turning Points in History. This theme invites students in all categories to consider an idea, event, or action that directly, or sometimes indirectly, caused change. Using this theme as inspiration, over 600,000 students nationwide have been creating projects in the five categories to compete in regional and affiliate level contests this spring to potentially reach the National Contest in June. 

National History Day began in 1974 in Cleveland, Ohio to encourage students to analyze historical events and draw conclusions about their impact on society. Dr. David Van Tassel, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, founded NHD following his rising concern about lagging history education. Fifty years later, NHD’s work continues beyond the National Contest each summer, with teacher workshops and educational materials available yearly.

For more information about the Tennessee History Day competition, including a list of winners and award photos, please visit State Contest - Tennessee Historical Society (