National History Day


For middle school and high school students participating in the Wisconsin competitions of National History Day in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Labor History Society annually offers prizes for the best projects that are based on American labor history.  For the 2017-18 school year, the student project will need to be based on the theme, “Conflict and Compromise in History.”

WLHS is pleased to participate in the competitions, led in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Historical Society, and to offer two $50 awards at each of the eight Wisconsin REGIONAL events for the best American labor history entries in any of the competition categories; one award will be given at the junior age level (grades 6-8) and one award at the senior age level (grades 9-12).  Two $100 awards are offered for both the junior and senior levels at the Wisconsin History Day STATE finals.

Click here  for information about the National History Day in Wisconsin program.


The exhibits for 2017-18 must fit the theme of “Conflict and Compromise in History.” Students are encouraged to use creativity to fashion projects that portray a historical event in which compromise may have prevented a conflict, those situations in which conflicts arose and resulted in a compromise, as well as those  situations where conflicts may have ended badly.  Labor history offers plenty of examples of workers and unions engaging in conflicts that resulted in change, often with compromise.  The nature of collective bargaining involves both conflict and compromise.   Some topics could include:

  • The Bay View Tragedy of 1886 in Milwaukee that involved workers seeking the 8-hour work day.
  • The farm worker struggle of the 1960s when migrant workers marched from Wautoma to Madison to seek — and get — a migrant worker labor law.
  • The great sitdown strikes of 1936-37, including those occurring at factories in Wisconsin, were conflicts that resulted in change.
  • The Pullman Strike of 1894 and what occurred afterward.
  • The milk strikes staged by Wisconsin farmers during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

For more help to develop your projects, click here.

TYPES OF PROJECTS: Students may enter in one of nine categories:

Papers (individual only), individual exhibit, group exhibit, individual performance, group performance, individual documentary, group documentary, individual web site, and group web site.