History Day Resources

We love National History Day and would love to help with your projects related to Connecticut women! For 2017, we've listed just a few topic ideas to get you started, but if you take a stroll through the Virtual Hall you're sure to find some inspiration. If you choose to work on a topic related to one of our Inductees, feel free to reach out if you'd like to set up an interview or if you have questions. You can e-mail Tina Carlson, our Programs Coordinator, at tinac@cwhf.org or call her at (203)392-9008.

Don't forget that we also sponsor a special prize at the state competition...Outstanding Entry Related to a Connecticut Woman!

**Teachers, we're also available to visit and introduce some of these topics and/or help your classes get started on their reasearch.**

2017 History Day Topic Ideas (download a PDF)


Prudence Crandall: Stood for equal access to education for minorities. Educated African American students even though it was against the law at the time and she was jailed for doing so. Connecticut’s Official State Heroine. (Local resources: Prudence Crandall Museum, Canterbury Historical Society)

Fidelia Hoscott Fielding: Stood against racism and modernism. Preserved the Mohegan language and culture despite prejudice against Native American culture and pressure to modernize. (Local resources: Tantaquidgeon Indian Museum; Cornell University houses Fielding’s archives)

Ella Tambussi Grasso: Stood against those who said a woman could not and should not be governor. Became the first female governor in the United States elected in her own right. (Local resources: Mount Holyoke College houses Grasso’s papers)

Helen Keller: Stood for disability rights. Became the first deaf-blind person to receive a Bachelor’s Degree. Became an author and advocate. The Americans with Disabilities Act was a direct result of her lifetime of advocacy.

Constance Baker Motley: Civil rights lawyer who stood up for equal education and other civil rights issues. Became the first female African American federal court judge. Successfully argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court including Brown vs. Board of Education

Smiths of Glastonbury: Took a stand against unfair government practices. Refused to pay an unfair tax on unmarried women. Fought for women’s rights, particularly suffrage. (Local resources: Glastonbury Historical Society).    

Maria Miller Stewart: Stood up and spoke up for abolition of slavery, civil rights, and women’s rights. First American woman to address a mixed race and mixed gender audience on abolition.

Estelle Griswold: Took a stand against Connecticut’s law prohibiting the discussion of birth control methods by opening a birth control clinic in New Haven. Took her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. Griswold v. Connecticut marked the first time the court had ruled that individuals have a constitutional right to privacy.

Barbara Hackman Franklin: Worked in the White House under President Nixon to open new ground for women in the federal government. As Secretary of Commerce under George H.W. Bush, Franklin who opened trade relations with China.

Alice Hamilton: Pioneered industrial medicine, changing the way industrial waste and chemicals are handled; her work formed the foundation for OSHA. Took a stand, refusing to believe she was wrong about the connection between workplace hazards and significant health issues in workers. (Local resources: Harvard houses her papers)‚Äč

Jane Hamilton-Merritt: Vietnam-era photojournalist who, after encountering the Hmong people of Laos, has devoted her life to getting them justice; twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize