History Day Previous Topics

Archived collection of previously suggested History Day resources by topic. Links not maintained.

2021 History Day

Check the History Day site.

Possible Subjects and Tips

Here are some very broad ideas to get you started. When you have a focused idea, let us know and we'll see what we might have.

  • Check the National History day page for suggestions on focusing your topics, especially the 2021 Handbook.
  • Methods of communication - media, news, newspapers, advertisements, telephones, telegrams, signal flags, sign language, body language, dance, music, theater, visual arts, computers, political cartoons, spy codes, technological advances, translation tools, political party/candidates communication, propaganda posters, graphic novels, social media, and more.
  • Style of communication - language and words. Autism, regional differences, synchronous/asynchronous, etc.
  • Oral tradition or Written Word
  • First Amendment
  • Specific events (famous speeches and/or protests).
  • Bearing Witness
  • Slang
  • Restriction or suppression of communication (ex. banning indigenous languages in federal "Indian" schools, censorship, challenging books in school and public libraries, etc.)
  • United States Information Agency (USIA) and United States Information Service (USIS)
  • United States Office of War Information (OWI) - VOA; Hollywood film industry, Psychological Warfare Branch (PWB)
  • Voice of America (VOA)
  • Withholding information for national security.
  • Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, or other journalist and news broadcasters.
  • Censorship
  • Fashion as means of communication


These are examples of some resources covering communication in general.

State Agencies


Books, Documents, etc.

Other Institutions

Creel Committee

Creel Committee - Committee on Public Information (CPI)

The Committee on Public Information (CPI) is often called the Creel Committee, after Chairman George Creel. Sometimes it is called the Public Information Commission. Try searching additional terms as a phrase.

The National Archives site (NARA) states (see link below): "The Committee on Public Information (CPI) was established by Executive Order 2594 as an independent agency in April 1917.  The Committee consisted of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the Navy as ex officio members.  Its functions were to release news of the government, issue information to sustain domestic morale, and to publicize America abroad.  Domestic activities were discontinued after the Armistice in November 1918 and foreign operations were discontinued in June 1919."

Executive Order 3154 obsoletes Executive Order 2594 of April 14, 1917, which created the Committee on Public Information.

According to Words That Won the War (1939, see link below for more details), only about 25 % of the records of the CPI survived to be transferred to NARA (National Archives) in 1937 and "The Committee was so widespread in its ramifications that the collection touches nearly all phases of American and world affairs for the years 1917 to 1919." (p.viii).

The CPI had a foreign division and a home front division. Chronicling America might be a good resource to see how CPI put its message forth in newspapers.

Related: Woodrow Wilson, Military Intelligence Branch, Four Minute Men.

Note: Before World War II (WWII), World War I (WWI) was called The Great War, The War to End All Wars, The World War ,  and other such names. It was not called WWI until after there was a second world war. Be sure to use variations in your subject terms when researching.

Books, Documents, etc.

Be sure to search our catalog for Committee on Public Information. These are only a few examples of what we have.

Not all of our older documents are in our library catalog, so please contact us if you are looking for a specific federal publication or need help finding older state and/or federal documents.

Other Institutions

FDR Fireside Chats

Fireside Chats - FDR

Connecticut State Council of Defense

The "State Defense Council is Connecticut Agency of Federal Government. Appointed by Governor Marcus H. Holcomb to Mobilize State's Resources for War and Make Them Available to United States - It is Official Connecticut Arm of Council of National Defense." (Connecticut Bulletin, Vol. 1, no.1. July 13, 1917, p.1). The Council of National Defense was established by an act of Congress August 29, 1916. On April 26, 1917 Governor Holcomb issued a proclamation that appointed people to the newly formed state level council. His authority to do so came from Chapter 44 of the Public Acts of 1917. County and town auxiliary committees were also formed. More detail can be found in Connecticut Bulletin, Vol. 1, no.1. July 13, 1917 (ConnDoc St291c).

Be sure to  check our catalog and digital collections for more resources. Those selected below focus on the 2021 theme of communication, for the most part. Many items have been digitized.

Connecticut In Popular Culture

Connecticut In Popular Culture

Here are a few examples of resources that show Connecticut through magazines, news, movies, etc.

Check the guides and pages on using newspapers, and the page for other institutions' digital collections.


Magazines, Journals, Newsletters

See separate guides and pages for newspapers.

Other Institutions - Communication

Other Institutions - Communication

Books, Documents, etc.

Books, Documents, etc.

You can also do a subject search in Primo, our library catalog for slang.

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