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Illinois History Day

Illinois History Day - April 24, 2024

Illinois History Day will be held in Springfield, Illinois at the Bank of Springfield Convention Center on April 24, 2024. This state-wide program encourages students in grades 6-12 to explore the history and culture of Illinois through researching primary and secondary source materials. Students must qualify at a regional contest to compete  at Illinois History Day.  Likewise, top qualifiers from the state competition will advance to the National History Day competition scheduled for June 9–13, 2024, at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. CLICK HERE FOR IHD GUIDES AND SCHEDULES.

Illinois History Day Schedule

  • 8:30-10:00 a.m. - Student check-in
  • 9:00-9:45 a.m. - Setup of exhibits, tech check for documentaries/performances, exhibit public viewing
  • 8:45-9:45 a.m. - Judge check-in and orientation
  • 10:00-12:30 p.m. - Judging
  • 12:45-1:15 p.m. - Judge deliberation
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. - Public viewing of exhibits
  • 1:30-3:30 p.m. - Final round judging
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. - Public viewing of exhibits
  • 4:30-5:15 p.m. - Awards Ceremony
  • 5:15-5:45 p.m. - National Qualifiers Info Meeting
  • 5:15-5:45 p.m. - Take down exhibits

Have questions?  Contact us at!

Judges Wanted!

We need your help!  Would you like to help students make history?  Consider volunteering to evaluate projects for Illinois History Day.  Learn more about judging at Illinois History Day and let us know if you are interested by emailing us at!

Theme for 2024:  Turning Points in History

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of National History Day, the 2024 theme will be Turning Points in History. This year’s theme invites you to consider questions of time and place, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance. 

A turning point in history is more than just an important event that happened a long time ago. It is more than a new idea or a particular  action taken by an individual. A turning point is an idea, event, or action that directly, or sometimes indirectly, causes change.

Check out the theme video and more theme resources to plan your research today!

Regional History Day Competitions

Regional competitions are held in early Spring in each of the regions listed below.  Top scorers at these competitions will qualify to compete at the State competition. Click on the region below to learn more about those events. Download the Illinois History Day Regions map.

  • Northern Illinois - Virtual Contest. Registration deadline is March 11, 2024, with winners announced on March 21, 2024.
  • Chicago Metro - in person on March 2 and 9, 2024, at the University of Illinois-Chicago and at the Chicago History Museum
  • Central Illinois - in person on March 9, 2024, at Millikin University in Decatur. Registration deadline is March 1, 2024.
  • Southern Illinois - in person on March 23, 2024, at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale