National History Day in Ohio
Mary Bezbatchenko, State Coordinator
What is History Day?
•Students learn History by doing History!
•Grades 4- 12
•(4-5 exhibits & performances only- compete only at State Level)
•Research Project based on an annual theme
•Create projects and attend local, state, and national
The History Day Process
What is History Day?
• Papers
• Exhibits
• Performances
• Documentaries
• Web Sites
Ohio’s Program
•11 Districts with local events
•March and early April
•District 3:
•Ohio History Day, April 28, 2012
•OSU, Ohio Union
•National History Day, June 2012
•College Park, MD
2012 National History
Day theme
Choosing a Topic
• What interests you?
– Time period, place, event…
– Brainstorm a list with multiple ideas
• Do preliminary research- secondary
– 20 year suggestion
• Narrow your topic
– Let’s read 2 examples
Example 1
The Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 began a 70 year
struggle for women’s suffrage. Elizabeth Cady
Stanton and Susan B. Anthony created the
National American Women’s Suffrage Association
in 1869. Three years later Susan B. Anthony was
arrested for attempting to cast a ballot. During the
early 20th century, the women’s suffrage movement
grew and some states began allowing women to
vote. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns created the
National Women’s Party in 1913. NWP members
picketed the White House to win suffrage. The 19th
amendment passed in 1920 securing voting rights
for women.
Example 2
At the beginning of the 20th century, NAWSA
developed a strategy of securing suffrage in local
elections and state constitutions. Alice Paul and
Lucy Burns, influenced by British suffragists,
believed in a more aggressive approach and wanted
a constitutional amendment. They held parades and
rallies and spoke out against the Democratic Party’s
inaction. NAWSA leaders, fearing the radical actions
would harm the movement, forced Paul and Burns
out of the organization. The women then created
what became the National Women’s Party. The two
organizations continued to debate tactics for
securing suffrage until the passage of the 19th
amendment in 1920.
Narrowing Your Topic
Start with the broad theme, choose something you
are interested in, and then narrow it down to a
more specific issue.
Theme: Debate & Diplomacy in History (2011 theme)
Interest: Women’s Rights
Topic: Women’s Suffrage
• Split between NAWSA & NWP
• Arguments in 1920 for and against suffrage
• White House protests- freedom of speech
• Woodrow Wilson v. Alice Paul
YOU are the topic!
• It is 2110 and a historian is gathering
information to write a biography about
your life.
• What sources did you leave behind to help
the historian with the job?
– What sort of evidence the historian find to
understand who you were?
A Primary Source is . . .
• An artifact of its time
• A first-hand account of a historic event
A Secondary Source is . . .
• A commentary or analysis of a historical
event based on primary sources
Primary v. Secondary
Secondary Source
Primary Source
Historian finds this letter in
the Ohio Historical Society
Letter from Andrew Altman
on March 25, 1862
Historian uses information to
write book Blood, Tears, & Glory:
How Ohioans Won the Civil War
Don’t forget context!
• Why did my topic happen at this particular time and in
this particular place?
• What were the events or the influences that came before
my topic?
• How was my topic influenced by and how did it
influence the economic, social, political, and cultural
climate of the time period?
What would I need to
Examine the picture and think
about what historical context
someone would need to know to
fully understand the image
What would I need to know?
Here are just a few things I might want to look at for
historical context
End of Slavery
Jim Crow laws- segregation
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Rosa Parks/Montgomery Bus Boycott
Brown v. Board of Education (schools)
Nashville sit ins (lunch counters)
Freedom Rides (buses)
Contact Information:
Mary Bezbatchenko- State Coordinator