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Illinois History Day

Illinois History Day

Illinois History Day, an event where students from across Illinois create history projects such as exhibits, websites, documentaries, performances, and research papers on topics of their choice, will be held in Springfield, Illinois on April 24, 2024. This state-wide program encourages students in grades 6-12 to delve into the history and culture of Illinois through researching primary and secondary source materials. Students advancing from regional competitions will be eligible to compete at the state contest.  Top winners from the state competition will advance to the National History Day scheduled for June 9–13, 2024, at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

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!

Have questions?  Contact us at DNR.IllinoisHistoryDay@illinois.gov!

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