2016–17 Suggested Topics

The examples below offer a starting point for brainstorming about topics related to this year’s National History Day (NHD) theme, "Taking a Stand 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 local or statewide history. The availability of nearby scholars, firsthand informants, historic sites, and documents and records provides many research options, although your search for information about any topic should extend far and wide. Be sure to look at Research Resources on the FHD website for repositories in Florida. In addition, staff at the State Library and Archives of Florida have identified online resources in their collections that relate to Florida topics. You can visit the Library and Archives in person or access their collections online.

Florida History Topics (compiled by FHD)

  • A Stand against the Dredges: Stopping the Cross-Florida Barge Canal
  • African American Soldiers of Fort Mose: Defending Freedom in Florida
  • African Medical Missions of Dr. William Allen
  • Alexander McGillivray: Statesman for the Creek Indians
  • Anita Bryant and the Struggle For and Against Gay Rights
  • Ban the Bottle: The Crusade for Prohibition in Florida
  • Barbara Capitman and the Preservation of Art Deco Hotels on Miami Beach
  • Battle of Natural Bridge: The Defense of Tallahassee
  • Battle of Okeechobee: Seminole Indians Stand Their Ground
  • Black Men in Blue Coats: African Americans at the Battle of Ocean Pond
  • Black Seminoles and the Second Seminole War
  • Bruce Smathers and the Preservation of Florida's Historic Capitol
  • Chloe Merrick Reed: Public Education for all Floridians
  • Clara Frye: Hospital Care for All People
  • Claude Pepper: Taking a Stand for the Elderly
  • Comandante Garcia: Guardian of the Lower Apalachicola, Foe of American Expansion
  • Competing Stands on Immigration: The Elian Gonzalez Case
  • Conscientious Objectors and Their Contributions to Florida's Home Front in World War II
  • Conflicting Stands on the Florida Frontier: European Rivalry for La Florida
  • Cyrus Teed and the Idea of Koreshan Unity
  • Ending Convict Labor Leasing in Florida
  • Environmental Activism: Marjory Stoneman Douglas's Fight to Save the Everglades
  • Father Augustin Verot, the "Rebel Bishop"
  • Fighting Fidel: Anti-Castro Activism in Florida
  • Florida Teachers' Strike of 1968
  • Florida's First Black Cabinet Member: The Political Career of Jonathan C. Gibbs
  • Flying the Confederate Flag: Heritage or Hatred?
  • Gideon v. Wainwright and the Right to Legal Representation
  • Governor Rubin Askew: Taking a Stand on Government in the Sunshine
  • Governor Ossian Hart's Struggle for Reconstruction in Florida
  • Governor Richard Keith Call: Outspoken Opponent of Florida's Secession
  • Harry T. Moore: Architect of the NAACP in Florida
  • Jackie Robinson's Stand at the Plate: Breaking into the Big League
  • Joe Lang Kershaw Axes the Cane Pole Tax
  • John G. Riley Fights for Educational Opportunity
  • John Pennekamp and the Preservation of Florida's Coral Reefs
  • Jose Martí: Fighting for Cuban Independence
  • Julee Panton and Early Civil Rights in Pensacola
  • Kennedy and Khrushchev: The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962
  • Lawton Chiles Takes on Big Tobacco
  • Lieutenant Adam Slemmer: Holding Fort Pickens
  • Major Dade's Last Stand: The Dade Battle in the Second Seminole War
  • Mary McLeod Bethune: A Life Devoted to Education
  • May Mann Jennings Speaks Out for Women's Rights
  • Osceola and Seminole Opposition to Indian Removal
  • Pilloried, Branded, and Imprisoned: Abolitionist Jonathan Walker's Courageous Stand
  • Roxcy Bolton Fights for the Equal Rights Amendment in Florida
  • Standing Tall: Josiah T. Walls, Florida's First Black Congressman
  • State of Florida v. Sister Mary Thomasine: The Right to Teach Black Students
  • Taking a Constitutional Stand in Florida: The 1868 Delegates and Their Mission
  • The Civil Rights Stand of Governor LeRoy Collins
  • The Johns Committee: Fighting Communism or Witch Hunting?
  • The Political Career of David Levy Yulee, the Nation's First Jewish Senator
  • The Reverend C. K. Steele and the Tallahassee Bus Boycott of 1956
  • The Reverend C. K. Steele, Governor LeRoy Collins, and the Integration of Florida Schools
  • The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.: Taking a Civil Rights Stand in St. Augustine
  • The Seminole Wars, 1818—1858: Fighting for Their Land
  • The Stars at Noon: Jacqueline Cochran and the Breaking of Aviation's Barriers
  • Thomas D. Tucker: Higher Education for African Americans
  • Union or Secession? Opposing Stands of Governors Call and Milton on the Eve of the Civil War
  • Vernon McDaniel: The Fight for Equal Pay
  • Virgil D. Hawkins: Desegregating Florida's Law School
  • William Augustus Bowles: Creating a Muskogee State

US History Topics (compiled by NHD)

  • Taking a Stand Against the British: The Reorganization of the Continental Army at Valley Forge
  • Roger Williams's Stand Against Exile: The Establishment of Rhode Island
  • Thurgood Marshall: Taking a Stand in Court Against Segregation
  • The Power of Words: Thomas Paine's Fight Against Tyranny
  • The War on Poverty: Johnson Stands for "The Other America"
  • Taking a Stand in Art: Copley's Artistic Fight Against the British
  • Horace Mann and the Fight for Quality Education
  • Protecting the Environment: The Establishment of the National Park Service
  • Protestants and the Fight for Temperance: The Founding of the American Temperance Society
  • William Jennings Bryan: Standing Against Evolution
  • Nat Turner: Taking a Stand Against Slavery
  • Standing for Separation of Church and School: Engel vs. Vitale
  • Muhammad Ali: Taking a Stand Against the Vietnam War
  • Andrew Jackson's Stand Against the Bank
  • Betty Friedan: Taking a Stand For Women's Rights
  • The Pullman Strike of 1894: Taking a Stand for the Workers
  • Taking a Stand Standing against Federal Authority: The Plight of the Farmers during the Whiskey Rebellion
  • Standing Against the British: The Boston Tea Party and Its Consequences
  • Rosa Parks: Sitting Down to Take a Stand
  • The Fight for Social Equality: Jane Addams and Hull House
  • William Lloyd Garrison: Taking a Stand with Words
  • Fighting Unemployment: The Journey of Coxey's Army
  • Taking a Stand Against Kingship: George Washington's Denial of Power
  • Standing Against the President: Congress's Victory in Radical Reconstruction Against Johnson
  • Taking a Stand Against the Trusts: Teddy Roosevelt as a Trust Buster
  • Standing Against Big Business: The Sherman Antitrust Act
  • Defiance in Leaps and Bounds: Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  • Claudette Colvin and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • The Astor Place Riots: Taking a Stand for Theater
  • Standing Against Conquest: Chief Osceola and the Seminole Indians

European History Topics (compiled by NHD)

  • Taking a Stand at Bosworth Field: Henry Tudor's Triumph
  • The French Impressionist Movement: Taking a Stand Against the Salons
  • Galileo's Stand Against the Church
  • Standing Up to the Little Corporal: The Duke of Wellington's Win at Waterloo
  • The Establishment of Cubism: Picasso and Braque's Stand Against Realism
  • Kilmainham Gaol and Ireland's Fight for Home Rule
  • Standing Against the Enemy: Sir Francis Drake at Cadiz
  • Standing Against the War: Siegfried Sassoon's Use of Pacifist Poetry
  • Martin Luther: The Stand That Started the Reformation
  • The Easter Uprising: Taking a Stand for Freedom
  • A King Stands for Unity: King Henry IV and the Edict of Nantes
  • Lech Wałęsa's Stand for Workers' Rights: The Establishment of the Gdansk Agreement
  • The Pope Versus a King: Henry VIII's Stand Against the Catholic Church
  • What Happens When No One Takes a Stand? Neville Chamberlain's Appeasement of Adolf Hitler
  • Taking a Stand for Artistic Freedom: The Defection of Soviet Ballet Dancers to the United States
  • Standing Against the Monarchy: Oliver Cromwell's Parliament Versus King Charles
  • Standing Up to the King: The Peasant's Revolt to End Serfdom in England
  • Sophie Scholl and Her Stand Against Hitler
  • Taking a Stand Against the Monarchy: The Birth of the Magna Carta
  • Standing Against Capitalism: The Soviets' Refusal of the Marshall Plan
  • Standing for the Right of Free Health Care: Aneurin Bevan and the National Health Service
  • Sir Thomas More: The Scholar Who Stood Up to a King
  • Storming the Bastille: Standing Against the Excesses of the Monarchy
  • The Velvet Revolution: Standing Against Communist Rule in Czechoslovakia
  • Emmeline Pankhurst: Militancy for Women's Suffrage
  • The Italian Unification Movement—Standing Together
  • Germany's Atlantic Wall: A Military Stand
  • The Yalta Agreement: Taking a Stand on a Post-War World
  • Standing Against Slavery: Lord Mansfield of England
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Standing Against Hitler

World History Topics (compiled by NHD)

  • Diocletianic Persecution: The Plight of the Christians in Ancient Rome
  • The Boxer Rebellion: Standing Against Westernization
  • The Buddhist Crisis: The People Versus the Government
  • Taking a Stand Against the British: Gandhi's Salt March to the Sea
  • Taking a Stand Against the Emperor: Brutus vs. Caesar
  • Chinese, American, and European Resistance to the Japanese Occupation of Nanking
  • The Opium Wars Between China and Great Britain
  • The Rise of Communism in China: Mao Zedong
  • Inca and Aztec Resistance to Spanish Colonization
  • Taking a Stand at Dien Bien Phu
  • Pancho Villa: Taking a Stand at the Mexican Border
  • Nelson Mandela's Stand for Equality in South Africa
  • Fray Cancer and Missions in the Sixteenth-Century Caribbean
  • The Sri Lankan Independence Movement
  • Bishop Juan Gerardi: Standing for the Truth
  • Toussaint L'Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution
  • Asserting Afghan Women's Right to Work: Anahita Ratebzad
  • Standing for Women in Government: Indira Gandhi
  • Simón Bolívar and Venezuela's Stand against Spanish Rule
  • War Crimes Tribunals: Taking a Stand against Genocide
  • Deng Xiaoping: Opening the Chinese Economy
  • The Romanov Family: Standing for Imperial Russia
  • Emperor Meiji: Opening Japan to Keep Japan Standing
  • Standing at an Impasse: The Korean War
  • The Iranian Revolution
  • Standing Against Saddam Hussein: The Persian Gulf War
  • OPEC: Standing for Economic Rights
  • Sir Henry Parkes: Taking a Stand for Australian Self Rule
  • Genghis Khan: Standing to Unite the Mongols
  • Standing for the Independence of Ghana: Kwame Nkrumah