2013–14 Suggested Topics

The examples below offer a starting point for brainstorming about topics related to this year’s National History Day (NHD) theme, "Rights and Responsibilities in History." Choosing one of these suggestions will not increase or decrease your chances of doing well at a National History Day contest.

Although you can select a topic dealing with any time or place in history, excellent subjects often are found by investigating your local history. The availability of nearby scholars, firsthand informants, documents and records, and artifacts and historic sites is a good option if you can't easily travel to conduct your research. Staff at the Florida State Archives have identified resources in their online collection and other collections statewide that relate to Florida topics. Go to http://floridamemory.com/onlineclassroom/history_fair/. You also should check Research Resources for other online repositories.

Florida Topics

  • Fort Mose: Freedom and Responsibility
  • Alexander McGillivray: Statesman for the Creek Indians
  • The Seminole Wars, 1818–58: Fighting for Their Land
  • Commercial Fishing Net Ban: Economics, Ecology, and Responsibility
  • Black Seminoles: Struggle for Freedom
  • Florida and the Civil War: States' Rights
  • Chloe Merrick Reed: Public Education for all Floridians
  • Josiah T. Walls—Soldier, Congressman, Lawyer, Mayor, and Newspaper Publisher: A Life of Responsibility
  • Florida Teachers' Strike of 1968
  • Thomas D. Tucker: Higher Education for African Americans
  • James Weldon Johnson: Educator, Writer, Composer, and Leader in the NAACP
  • Florida and the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Afro-American Insurance Company: The Right to Financial Security
  • Mary McLeod Bethune: A Life Devoted to Education
  • Clara Frye: Building a Hospital for All People
  • May Mann Jennings and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas: Working for Women's Suffrage
  • Clara White Mission: Responsibility for the Poor
  • Florida and Election 2000: A Responsibility to the Voters
  • S. D. (Samuel Decatur) McGill: A Fair Trial for the "Pompano Boys"
  • Harry T. Moore: Establishing the NAACP in Florida
  • Vernon McDaniel: The Fight for Equal Pay
  • Marjorie Stoneman Douglas and the Everglades National Park: A Responsibility to the Environment
  • Virgil D. Hawkins: Desegregating Florida's Law School
  • Seminole Voting Rights: Joining Florida's Citizenry
  • Groveland (Little Scottsboro) Trial: Right to a Fair Trial
  • Spanish Missions and Their Role in Evangelizing Native Floridians
  • Tallahassee Bus Boycott of 1956
  • Betty Mae Jumper: A Life in Service to the Seminole People
  • Gideon v. Wainright: The Right to an Attorney
  • St. Augustine Civil Rights Economic Boycott
  • Sister Mary Thomasine Wins the Right to Teach Black Students
  • Andrew Jackson as Florida's Governor: Establishing Rights and Responsibilities
  • Spanish Colonial Policies Toward Escaped Slaves
  • The Situado: Supporting Spain's Colonists
  • Who Owns the Past? Protecting Florida's Cultural Resources
  • Halting the Bulldozers: Community Efforts to Save the de Soto Archaeological Site

National Topics

National History Day has created a list of topics that deal with national and global themes.

  • Busting the Trusts: Progressives and the Government Duty to Ensure Competition
  • The Elizabethan Poor Law: Rights vs. Responsibilities
  • Jefferson, War, and Embargo? The Embargo Act of 1807 and the Constitution
  • Nazi Germany and the Rights and Responsibilities of a "Superior" Race
  • A. Philip Randolph: Labor and Civil Rights Activist
  • ""Reaching the Heart of Africa"": The Africa Inland Mission and Evangelism
  • The FHA, HUD, and Federal Responsibilities for Housing in 20th-century America
  • The British East India Company: Rights, Responsibilities, and Profits
  • Horace Mann and the State's Duty to Provide Education
  • The Geneva Convention and the Rights of POWs
  • Eisenhower and the Integration of Central High: Civil Rights and Federal Responsibilities
  • Emmeline Pankhurst and the Fight for Women's Suffrage in England
  • Keeping the Workers Quiet: Corporate Welfare in 1920s America
  • No Right to Leave: The Berlin Wall
  • The ACLU and the Defense of Liberty in America
  • Emilio Aguinaldo: Fighting the Filipino Rights
  • Put the Preachers in Jail: The Great Awakening in Connecticut
  • The Inquisition: Enforcing Orthodoxy vs. the Right to Dissent
  • Rights Trampled: Andrew Jackson vs. the Cherokees
  • Blacks, Whites, Coloreds, Indians: Competing Rights in South Africa
  • The Wagner Act and the Rights of Labor
  • Trade Rights During the Napoleonic Wars: Freedom of the Seas?
  • Truth is a Defense: John Peter Zenger and Freedom of the Press
  • Pure Democracy in Actions: the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens in Classical Athens
  • Married Women's Property Acts in 19th-century America
  • Andrei Sakharov and Human Rights in the Soviet Union
  • Lonely Voices: Conscientious Objectors in World War II America
  • Nobles, Knights, and Serfs: Rights and Responsibilities in Medieval France
  • The Great Railroad Strike of 1877: Workers' Rights, Government Responsibilities
  • Justifying Rebellion: John Locke and the Right to Revolution
  • A Duty to Protect Children: The Children's Bureau
  • Spanish Colonists and the Right to Mita Labor in Columbia Peru
  • "No Taxation Without Representation": The Stamp Act and the Coming of the American Revolution
  • No Rights Left: Comfort Women and the Japanese Imperial Army, 1932–1945
  • The American Indian Movement (AIM)
  • The Quebecois: Minority Rights in Canada
  • The Treaty System: National Obligations and the Origins of World War I
  • The Curt Flood Case: Free Agency for Athletes
  • The Mexican Revolution and the Rights of Peons
  • The "Praying Indian": Rights and Responsibilities in Puritan New England
  • Changing Ideas of Citizenship in Ancient Rome
  • The Scopes Trial and the Right to Teach Evolution in America
  • Pledge to Mutual Defense: NATO's Role in the Cold War
  • John Muir and the Duty to Save the Environment
  • Daniel O'Connell and Catholic Emancipation in 19th-century Ireland
  • Mormons and Freedom of Religion in America
  • Restricting the Rights of Parents: Family Planning in China
  • Mary Church Terrell: Advocate for Women and African-American Rights
  • The Platt Amendment: Limits on Cuba's National Rights
  • The New York City Draft Riots and the Duty of Military Service
  • Bartholomew de Las Casas and the Rights of Indians in Colonial Latin America
  • The National Organization for Women and the Struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Bismarck and the Creation of a Welfare State in Germany
  • Development of Water Rights: Struggle Over the Colorado River
  • Adam Smith and the Right of Free Trade
  • The Regulators: Rights and Responsibilities in the Carolina Backcountry
  • The Treaty of Versailles and National Self-Determination
  • Miranda v Arizona and the Rights of the Accused
  • How to Dress: Changing Rights of Muslim Women
  • Japanese–American Rights and Responsibilities in World War II
  • The Struggle for Aboriginal Rights in Australia
  • The Duty of Revenge and the Practice of Adoption Among the Iroquois in Colonial America