The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Wyoming History Day

Wyoming History Day

The National History Day program is a year-long education program that culminates in a national contest every June. Wyoming History Day, administered by the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center, occurs every year in April.

National History Day engages students in grades 6-12 in the process of discovery and interpretation of historical topics. Students produce dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries and research papers based on research related to an annual theme. These projects are then evaluated at local, state and national competitions.
Many different people participate in the Wyoming History Day program, including Wyoming students and teachers, the University of Wyoming, Wyoming State Historical Society, the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, The John P. Ellbogen Foundation and community business like Taco John's, who generously support the Wyoming History Day program with grants and special awards.

2021 State History Day Contest 

will be held April 19-29 2021 if it’s in person, at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. If it’s virtual, the contest will run from April 21 to May 5, 2021.  Click here for updates.

2021 National History Day Contest

will be held in June 2021 at the University of Maryland in College Park. Check here for more details as they develop.

Click here for information about the 2021 NHD theme, “Communications in History:” 

View examples here of award-winning projects from previous contests.


Sample topics from Wyoming history on the 2021 theme, “Communications in History:”

Wyoming newspapers and their times:

The Frontier Index: 'Press on Wheels' in a Partisan Time

Covering Cattle Kate: Newspapers and the Watson-Averell Lynching

James Hayford of the Laramie Sentinel

Bill Nye, Frontier Humorist

The Sagebrush Philosopher: Merris Berrow and Bill Barlow’s Budget

E.T. Payton: Muckraker, Mental Patient and Advocate for the Mentally Ill

The 'Lyre Girls:' First Women Newspaper Owners in Wyoming

Tracy McCraken: From a $3,000 Loan to a Newspaper Empire

Newspaper War in Paradise: A 30-year Conflict in Jackson Hole

Bombardier Conservationist: Tom Bell and the High Country News

Ed Cantrell, Rock Springs and Boom-time Crime

Battling Monopoly: Northern Utilities and the Casper Star-Tribune



The University of Wyoming Textbook Controversy, 1947-48

High School Hair Wars: 1960s Casper board suspends boy's education

The Black 14: Race, Politics, Religion and Wyoming Football



Asa Mercer and The Banditti of the Plains

Owen Wister: Inventor of the Good-guy Cowboy

The Old West's Female Champion: Caroline Lockhart and Wyoming's Cowboy Heritage

Ernest Hemingway in Wyoming

Grace Raymond Hebard: Shaping Wyoming's Past

Peggy Simson Curry, Wyoming's First Poet Laureate

Stand on South Pass: Wallace Stegner, the Wind and the West

Robert Roripaugh, Wyoming Poet Laureate 1995-2002


Wartime life and messaging

New Perspectives on the Fetterman Fight

Life on the Home Front: Wyoming During World War I

Wyoming and World War II

How Are You Doing in Vietnam?


Shows, Show People and Orators

Feminist Orator Wows Territorial Cheyenne

Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express: Fame, Truth and Inventing the West

To 'Hold a More Brilliant Torch:' Suffragist and Orator Theresa Jenkins

Noted Beauty Coming:' Suffragist Campaigns Across Wyoming

Ed Farlow, Tim McCoy and Their Native Friends on Stage and Screen

A Stuntman's Jump: Parachutist Stranded for Days on Devils Tower


Artists and photographers

An Artist and the Fur Trade: the Wyoming Paintings of Alfred Jacob Miller

Albert Bierstadt: Landscapes of the American West

Jackson, William Henry: Foremost Photographer of the American West

Lora Webb Nichols: An Eye on Early Wyoming

J.E. Stimson and His Photographs

George Ostrom's War: A Wyoming Soldier-artist Serves in France

Wyoming's Long-lived Bucking Horse

The Fountain and the Mural: Remembering a Tragic Cowboy Welcome

Photographer on the Pitchfork: Charles Belden’s Version of the West

Painting Wyoming's Past: The Casper Army Air Base Servicemen's Club Murals

Who took the photo? Stories Conflict for Image of Ski Tracks on the Grand


Letter writers and diarists

The Utah War in Wyoming and the letters of Elizabeth Cumming

 White and Native Views of the Platte Bridge Fight and the letters of Hervey Johnson and George Bent

Bob David's War: A Wyoming Soldier Serves in France

The Sticking Power of Ethel Waxham Love



South Pass Gold Rush

Industry, Politics and Power: The Union Pacific in Wyoming

The Diamond Hoax: a Bonanza That Never Was

The Teapot Dome Scandal

Establishing Public TV in Wyoming

Coal Slurry: an Idea that Came and Went


Great places for primary sources on Wyoming history:

Wyoming Newspapers, a searchable database of nearly all Wyoming newspapers published before the mid-1920s. 

American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

Wyoming State Archives

Casper College Western History Center

Park County Archives, Cody

Sweetwater County Museum, Green River