The following topics may be of interest to teachers guiding students in National History Day projects.  Follow the links to access additional data and teaching materials. 



General Topic



Examples of Sub-Topics or Ways to Focus Topic



Emergence of Modern Mass Culture (Movies, Music, etc.)

Connections between Jewish filmmakers and Jewish immigrant experiences


African-Americans on stage or in music, especially 1920s

Creation of Country Music



Re-creation of citizenship through Reconstruction legislation

Role of African-Americans in elective office during Reconstruction

Reconstruction politics in the cartoons of Thomas Nast


Definitions of “American Freedom”

See Primary Source Examples of

Definitions of American Freedom

Enslaved African-Americans at Time of Civil War and Reconstruction

Women Suffragists

Labor movement and collective notions of freedom

Notions of freedom among Native American nations

The Dawes Act:  Individual property ownership as “freedom”

Definitions of citizenship at the time of the American Revolution

Civil Rights movement and “freedom songs”, “freedom schools”, “beloved community”


Patterns of Immigrant Experience


(For example:  Hmong, Hispanic groups, eastern and southern European immigrants in an earlier wave)


Adaptations to American institutions such as school

Relationships to mass culture

Generational tensions between immigrant parents and American-born children

Adaptations to/Resistance to American definitions of appropriate gender roles

Regional mixtures/cultural encounters in Wisconsin


Women and Progressive Era Reform

See SUNY Binghamton's excellent site on

women reformers and social movements

between 1830 and 1930:

General Federation of Women’s Clubs (formed 1890)

Women’s Christian Temperance Union

Mother’s Congress

National Association of Colored Women

Women’s Christian Temperance Union

National Consumer’s League

Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom

The Children’s Bureau

Young Women’s Christian Association

Jane Addams and Hull House


Women’s Changing Life Patterns in the Twentieth Century

See additional women's history

topics, websites, and bibliography.

View data on women's changing life

patterns in the twentieth century.

Changes in the work women performed at home (domestic chores, child care, etc.)

Changes in the rate of labor force participation of women (could be broken down by race, ethnicity, marital status)

Women’s growing access to higher education

Change and continuity in women’s economic status

Development of the “pink-collar” sector

Women’s access to professional careers before and/or after 1960

Patterns of women’s participation in elected office since 1920

Oral history and/or literature as windows onto women’s or girls’ changing life patterns





Revised 08/25/2008  


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