National History Day Georgia Theme Topic Explorer

Breaking Barriers

The National History Day theme for 2020 is Breaking Barriers in History!

You can consult this interactive list of optional Georgia topics to help inspire your National History Day Georgia research.

If you find a topic that interests you, click the “read more” button in the box. A new page will load, and you will find a full description, and sample resources connected to the topic.

With questions or concerns, contact Co-Coordinator Jess Burke by phone at 404-523-6220 ext. 116 or by e-mail at with questions or concerns.

Annie Abbott

Annie Abbott is known as the physics defying “Georgia Magnet,” who traveled the world and confused doctors and audiences with her remarkable illusions.

The Cherokee Phoenix

The Cherokee Phoenix was the leading news source for the Cherokee Nation during the nineteenth century.

Ben Epps

Ben Epps was an engineer and mechanic with a love of flight. At nineteen years old, Epps built and flew his first plane.

Maynard Jackson

Maynard Jackson was a groundbreaking Atlanta mayor.

Hazel Raines

Hazel Raines was a fearless pilot and stunt flyer who served as a lieutenant in both World War II and the Korean War.

Clarence A. Bacote

Clarence A. Bacote was a political organizer who helped thousands of African Americans register to vote.

Mattiwilda Dobbs

Mattiwilda Dobbs was an international opera singer who performed to critical acclaim across Europe and the United States.

Great Speckled Bird

Great Speckled Bird was an underground student newspaper, started by college students at Emory and other universities in Atlanta in 1968.

Knights of Labor

Knights of Labor was the largest labor organization in late nineteenth-century America. Its Georgia chapter brought together more than 9,000 workers of all races, occupations, and skills.

Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith was a writer, social commentator, and traveler who was an unabashed critic of racial segregation during the brutal era of Jim Crow.

William Bootle

William Bootle was a U.S. District Court judge for middle Georgia. Bootle’s court orders were instrumental in desegregating Georgia schools, elections, and transportation facilities.

Henrietta Dozier

Henrietta Dozier was an architect who designed churches, schools, banks, houses, and apartments. She was admitted to the American Institute of Architects in 1905.

Lulu Hurst

Lulu Hurst was the first “Georgia Wonder,” and her mysterious abilities and vaudeville acts brought her fame across the country.

Annie McPheeters

Annie McPheeters was one of Atlanta’s most important librarians. She launched the Negro History Collection at the Auburn Branch of the Atlanta Public Library system.

Hale Aspacio Woodruff

Hale Aspacio Woodruff was a painter and printmaker known for single-handedly establishing establishing Atlanta University’s art department.

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