National History Day

The East Tennessee Historical Society sponsors National History Day competition for the East Tennessee Region.

National History Day (NHD) is an academic program for students, grades 6-12. Students select a topic, conduct extensive primary and secondary research, and analyze and interpret their conclusions. They can choose to present their work through a website, exhibit, performance, documentary, or original paper. The contest begins at school level, with winners advancing to state and then to nationals. Teachers and sponsors involve students in NHD participation through school and system-wide competitions, history clubs, home school co-ops, and family groups.

An independent, national evaluation finds that NHD students perform better in a variety of skills important to life and employment success.

East Tennessee History Day

As the originator and coordinator of the East Tennessee Regional competition, the East Tennessee Historical Society advises and mentors teachers and students through all phases of the competition, from school to nationals. ETHS also is available to consult with teachers and schools on how to incorporate NHD into your curriculum. 

The annual East Tennessee Regional competition takes place in early spring of each year at the University of Tennessee and is co-sponsored by ETHS and the University of Tennessee History Department. Additional support comes from the University of Tennessee College of Arts and Sciences, Humanities Center, and Randy and Jenny Boyd.

 For 2023, ETHS is planning an in-person competition for February 28, 2023 at the UT Student Union on campus. There will be a Plan B for virtual competition if necessary. The theme for 2023 is Frontiers in History: People, Places, and Ideas. For more information visit the East Tennessee Regional page on the Tennessee Historical Society's Tennessee History Day website, the best site for materials, teacher and student resources, and professional development notices. 

For detailed information on the 2024 competition, as well as deadlines in January and February,  please check out the above pages which will be updated in the Fall of 2023.

Check out our 2023 list of winners and special awards winners!

Tennessee History Day

ETHS education staff also works closely with Tennessee History Day state coordinators to share program information with teachers, sponsors, and students. Tennessee History Day is the state affiliate of National History Day.

Tennessee History Day 2023 is scheduled for April 15, 2023. 

The national National History Day contest is scheduled for mid-June 2023. Visit the NHD website for more information.

Interested in participating? Have questions? Contact the ETHS Education Department for more information:

  • Lisa Oakley at 865-215-8828 or by email


East Tennessee History Day Scholarships

Thanks to the generous support of Randy and Jenny Boyd, three East Tennessee high school students are  awarded scholarships every year for their excellence in research, analysis, and documentation for their  National History Day projects.

The East Tennessee History Day Scholarships are awarded to two students whose projects are on an East Tennessee topic and feature quality primary sources. First place is awarded $3,000 and second place is awarded $2,000. The East Tennessee History Day Business and Technology Scholarship is awarded to a student whose project is on a business and/or technology topic and features quality primary sources. The award for the Business and Technology Scholarship is $2,000.

For additional information, including instructions on how to apply, please take a look at the documents for the East Tennessee History Day Scholarship and the East Tennessee History Day Business and Technology Scholarship or contact Lisa Oakley at

Check out our list of past winners!

National History Day Teacher Workshops or Consultations 

East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) staff will provide free teacher workshops on the National History Day program. Schools and/or school districts are invited to schedule a workshop as an introduction to the NHD program and competition, or perhaps for more detailed nuts-and-bolts instruction, to go beyond the basic introduction to NHD to focus on researching and developing NHD projects (ETHS staff can model winning exhibit boards, documentaries, performances, and process papers with annotated bibliographies). If you are interested in scheduling a workshop, or just to talk more about NHD resources available in East Tennessee, please call Lisa Oakley (Co-Coordinator) at 865-215-8828 or email Let us know how we can help!

Upcoming Workshops

Please visit the Teacher Workshops link for workshop listings.