National History Day

A group of people dressed in period costumes, celebrating National History Day with a lively reenactment in a historic town square..
National history day illustration

Hold on to your time-traveling socks, folks! Your one-way ticket to the exciting (and sometimes bizarre) past named National History Day is about to depart. It's like a journey through the perhaps literal sands of time, minus the inevitable sand in your shoes. Seen by some as a day for history geeks, by others a chance to relive the good old days - and by most an opportunity for truly spectacular vintage dress-up. Now buckle up, because this ride back in time doesn't have airbags!

When is History Day?

It's national history day on the 16th January.

How It All Started

Digital evidence of National History Day first popped up on 16th January 2016. Historians expected some dusty book might've started the trend, but in fact, it was the mighty Internet. Now, with more than 9905 mentions online, National History Day has gone viral - not a Plague kind of viral, thank heavens!

The Day-To-Day of History Day

Okay, so what do people actually do on National History Day? Some folks create homemade trebuchets to replicate medieval sieges, others binge-watch episodes of 'The Crown'. Still more settle in with a mug of hot cocoa and a hefty history book, likely written by a chap with more letters after his name than there are in it. No matter the preference, it's clear there's no 'right' way to celebrate National History Day.

But Wait...There's More!

We've had sword-wielding nomads, Egyptian Pharaohs, Viking adventurers, devoted Civil Rights activists, and moon-landing astronauts. From the epic battles to the astonishing discoveries and unsung heroes, there's an endless supply of stories and characters for you to dive into.

The Final Word

So, while the Internet seems to believe the most popular time to celebrate is January, remember there's no bad time to enjoy history. Crack open that textbook you've been ignoring, start that Netflix documentary, or simply chat with your grandparents about the 'old days'. Every day can be National History Day, if you let it be!

History behind the term 'History'

440 BC

The Birth of 'Historia'

In 440 BC, the term 'history' was born in ancient Greece. The Greek word 'historia' initially referred to an inquiry or investigation. Herodotus, often called the 'Father of History,' was the first to use the term in this sense, using it to describe his method of gathering and analyzing information to recount the events of the Persian Wars and other past events.

2nd Century AD

History as a Written Account

During the 2nd century AD, the meaning of 'history' expanded to include a written account or narrative of past events. This shift occurred as historians started composing detailed chronicles to preserve their culture's important events and developments. Prominent historians like Thucydides and Tacitus contributed greatly to the advancement of historical writing during this period.

16th Century

Renaissance Era: Renaming and Reshaping

In the 16th century, during the Renaissance era, the term 'history' underwent significant changes. Renaissance scholars, inspired by the rediscovery of classical works, aimed to refine and expand historical studies. They introduced a renewed emphasis on accuracy and objectivity in historical accounts. Additionally, the field of historiography emerged, exploring the methodology and philosophy of history writing.

19th Century

Professionalization of History

The 19th century witnessed the professionalization of history. Academic institutions established formal history departments, and the discipline underwent a transformation from a primarily literary pursuit to a scientific and systematic study. Historians began employing rigorous research methods, utilizing various sources, including primary documents and archaeological evidence, to strive for a more comprehensive understanding of the past.

20th Century

Expansion and Diversification of Historical Studies

The 20th century marked a period of immense expansion and diversification in historical studies. Historians began exploring previously overlooked aspects of history, including social history, cultural history, and the histories of marginalized groups. The development of new theoretical frameworks and interdisciplinary approaches further broadened the scope of historical research, allowing for a more nuanced and inclusive understanding of human experiences throughout time.

Did you know?

Initially, National History Day wasn't known for its online fame. In fact, it started as a local academic event for students in Ohio in the 1970s, only later gaining the internet's attention.


awareness fun online trends history culture education

First identified

8th March 2015

Most mentioned on

16th January 2016

Total mentions


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