The Day Book

E. Scripps argued in his autobiography, Damned Old Crank: "I am one of the few newspapermen who happen to know that this country is populated by ninety-five per cent of plain people, and that the patronage of even plain and poor people is worth more to a newspaper owner than the patronage of the wealthy five per cent." His newspapers were low-priced and tended to support progressive causes and the trade union movement. He once wrote: "I have only one principle, and that is represented by an effort to make it harder for the rich to grow richer and easier for the poor to keep from growing poorer."

Throughout his career Scripps found that advertisers continually put him under pressure to drop his radical causes. He later recalled: "A newspaper fairly and honestly conducted in the interests of the great masses of the public must at all times antagonize the selfish interests of that very class (the advertisers) which furnishes the larger part of a newspaper's income. It must occasionally so antagonize this class as to cause it not only to cease patronage, to a greater or lesser extent, but to make actually offensive warfare against the newspaper."

In 1911 he decided to publish a newspaper that was completely free of advertising. The tabloid-sized newspaper was called The Day Book, and at a penny a copy, it aimed for a working-class market, crusading for higher wages, more unions, safer factories, lower streetcar fares, and women’s right to vote. It also tackled the important stories ignored by most other dailies. According to Duane C. S. Stoltzfus, the author of Freedom from Advertising (2007): "The Day Book served as an important ally of workers, a keen watchdog on advertisers, and it redefined news by providing an example of a paper that treated its readers first as citizens with rights rather than simply as consumers."

Carl Sandburg was one of the journalists employed on the newspaper. Dorothy Day was one of those who read the newspaper and later admitted that it informed her about people like Eugene Debs and organisations such as the Industrial Workers of the World: " Through the paper I learned of Eugene Debs, a great and noble labor leader of inspired utterance. There were also accounts of the leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World who had been organizing in their one great union so that there were a quarter of a million members throughout the wheatfields, mines, and woods of the Northwest, as well as in the textile factories in the East." Though the Day Book’s financial losses steadily declined over the years, it never became profitable, and publication ended in 1917.


My brother Donald began his newspaper career on a paper called The Day Book. (The name had nothing to do with my own newspaper family but as I recall it was an experiment of Scripps-Howard.) It was the size of the dime novels we used to read, but it was lurid in another way. It told of the struggles in the labor movement and especially in Chicago. There were no advertisements, so working conditions in department stores, in factories and workshops were exposed with no fear of losing revenue. Carl Sandburg was one of the writers and this poet of the people sat on the copy desk and inspired my brother to look on the people as he did, with love and hope of great accomplishment. Through the paper I learned of Eugene Debs, a great and noble labor leader of inspired utterance. There were also accounts of the leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World who had been organizing in their one great union so that there were a quarter of a million members throughout the wheatfields, mines, and woods of the Northwest, as well as in the textile factories in the East.

Day History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

All Irish surnames have a unique and often romantic meaning. The name Day originally appeared in Gaelic as O Deaghaidh or O Diaghaidh.

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Early Origins of the Day family

The surname Day was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where O'Dea was chief of Dysart-O'Dea, now the parish of Dysart, barony of Inchiquin, one of the original chiefs and clans of ancient Thomond. Today Dysert O'Dea Castle still stands near Corofin, County Clare with its Romanesque Doorway and High Cross and was the site of the Battle of Dysert O'Dea in 1318. It was here that the Irish chieftain Conor O'Dea, chief of the Cineal Fearmaic and ally of Murtough O'Brien, stood his ground only to be defeated by the invading forces from Scotland.

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Early History of the Day family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Day research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1318 and 1434 are included under the topic Early Day History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Day Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a standardized literary language known by the general population of Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person's name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual's name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name Day revealed many variations, including Day, Dea, O'Dea and others.

Early Notables of the Day family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was Most Rev. Thomas O'Dea and Cornelius O'Dea (d. 1434), Archdeacon of Killaloe and later Bishop of Limerick. Three items of his have survived over the centuries: his Mitre, Crozier and a manuscript now entitled "The Black Book of Limerick." Today, they are all kept in Limerick's Hunt Museum. "According to a legend Bishop Cornelius O'Dea went to Dublin to attend a synod of bishops without his.
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Day Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Day migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Day Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anthony Day, who landed in Massachusetts in 1635 [1]
  • Dorothy Day, aged 17, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • Hanna Day, aged 20, who landed in America in 1635 [1]
  • Jo Day, aged 16, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [1]
  • Jon Day, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [1]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Day Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anne Day, who arrived in Virginia in 1701-1702 [1]
  • Martha Day, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [1]
  • Robert Day, who arrived in America in 1764 [1]
  • Andrew Day, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [1]
Day Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Redmond Day, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • Gabriel Day, who arrived in New York in 1835 [1]
  • Joseph Day, who landed in New York in 1836 [1]
  • Botheny Day, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1839 [1]
  • William Day, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845 [1]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Day migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Day Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Chata Day, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Day, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Thomas Day, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • James Day, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Nath Day, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Day Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Luke Day, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1814
  • Joseph B Day, who arrived in Canada in 1830
  • Elmer Day, who arrived in Canada in 1841
  • Miss. W.O. Day, aged 2 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Wandsworth" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in May 1847 [2]
Day Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • J C Day, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • T J Day, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Day migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Day Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Charles Day, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia[3]
  • Miss Sarah Day who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 20th November 1823, arriving in New South Wales, Australia and Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mr. John Day, Jr., English convict who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1828 [5]
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Day, (b. 1787), aged 39, Irish needle woman who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 3rd October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, listed as having 2 children [6]
  • Mr. James Day who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[7]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Day migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

The Green Book

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The Green Book, in full The Negro Motorist Green Book, The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, or The Travelers’ Green Book, travel guide published (1936–67) during the segregation era in the United States that identified businesses that would accept African American customers. Compiled by Victor Hugo Green (1892–1960), a Black postman who lived in the Harlem section of New York City, the Green Book listed a variety of businesses—from restaurants and hotels to beauty salons and drugstores—that were necessary to make travel comfortable and safe for African Americans in the period before passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Automobile travel exploded in the United States during the mid-20th century as more and more Americans were able to afford cars and had disposable income and leisure time (including paid vacations) that allowed them to explore the country. The proliferation of tourist homes, roadside motels, restaurants, and tourist attractions offered convenience that made it possible for car travel to be a joyful spontaneous adventure for most Americans. This was seldom the experience for African American travelers during the Jim Crow era, however.

Because segregation was pervasive not just in the South but throughout the country, Black travelers not only met with the inconvenience and humiliation of being turned away from businesses but also had to be ever mindful of the threat of racist violence, including lynching. The landscape was dotted with “sundown towns,” where the presence of people of colour was banned after nightfall. To address the uncertainty of attaining lodging, meals, and fuel, African American car travelers brought with them blankets and pillows, extra food, drinks, and gasoline, as well as portable toilets.

The difficulty, embarrassment, and fear that accompanied car travel for Black people became especially apparent to Green after he married a woman from Richmond, Virginia, to which the couple traveled from their home in Harlem. In 1936 he made an attempt to address the problem by producing The Negro Motorist Green Book, a 15-page guide that listed travel-related businesses in metropolitan New York City that welcomed African American customers. To compile the listing, Green, then age 44, drew on his own firsthand experience as well as recommendations from fellow postal workers. (Green lived in Harlem but delivered mail in New Jersey.) He found a model for his publication in the guides for Jewish travelers that appeared in Jewish newspapers.

The demand for the first Green Book was so great that by the publication of the second annual edition in 1937, Green had shifted his focus to a national scope. To do so, he used his involvement with the National Association of Letter Carriers to reach out to postal workers across the country to gather information. He also received assistance from Charles McDowell, the collaborator on Negro Affairs for the United States Travel Bureau, an office of the Department of the Interior charged with promoting American tourism. Early on Green also began soliciting recommendations from the guide’s users. In addition to motels, tourist homes, and restaurants, the book also had listings for taverns, nightclubs, tailors, barbershops, beauty salons, drug stores, liquor stores, gas stations, and garages. The guide included articles on safe driving, places of interest (“What to See in Chicago”), travel essays (“A Canadian Trip”), and special topics (“How to Guard Your Home During Vacation Season”), along with travel tips (“What to Wear” [in Bermuda]) and consumer reviews of automobiles.

By 1940 the Green-Book (a hyphen was added for part of the 1940s) had more than tripled in length by 1947 it contained more than 80 pages. The book’s geographic scope was ever-expanding and eventually included all 50 states as well as listings for Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. As time went on, however, the subjects of the listings became limited to hotels, motels, and tourist homes. Publication of the Green Book was suspended during World War II but resumed in 1947. That year Green opened a travel company, Reservation Bureau, with its office on 135th Street in Harlem, above Smalls Paradise, a music venue that was central to African American culture in the 20th century. In 1952 he retired from the postal service.

The Green Book was not the only publication of its kind. It was preceded by Hackley and Harrison’s Hotel and Apartment Guide for Colored Travelers (1930–31). The Travel Guide (1947–63) and Grayson’s Guide: The Go Guide to Pleasant Motoring (1953–59) were contemporaries of the Green Book, but neither was published as long nor reached as big an audience as the Green Book, which was dubbed the “bible of Black travel.” By 1962 there were more than two million copies of it in circulation.

The guide listed both Black- and white-owned businesses. In some cases the welcoming of Black customers by white-owned businesses was a principled declaration of opposition to segregation, while in others it was merely a pragmatic recognition of the profits to be made from the increasing mobility and affluence of African Americans. The Green Book received special support from Esso (the forerunner of Exxon), largely owing to the efforts of James Jackson, the first African American to work for the company as a marketing specialist. One of the only U.S. oil companies that allowed African Americans to buy franchises, Esso sponsored the Green Book and sold it in its gas stations.

Although little of the content of the Green Book was overtly political, the implicit politics of exclusion and segregation’s denial of access and equity were the subtext of every listing. The comments that Green published from some of those who responded to his request for information were also often telling, such as remarks in the 1948 guide by a correspondent from Dickinson, North Dakota:

The attitude of a majority of those I contacted was that, while they themselves had no color prejudice, some of their regular customers did have. This was the impression I gained from hotel operators, barbers, and others contacted. They were all eager to provide whatever services were required by Negroes visiting Dickinson.

Ignorance is the root of prejudice. There is a special type of ignorance in this section regarding Negroes. There are so few Negroes living in North Dakota that a colored person is still a curiosity. Some of the prejudice here is merely unfamiliarity with any of the race. It is a general thing, and not specific. When talking about Negroes abstractly, they feel differently than if a colored person, in person, asks them for services.

In his introduction to the 1948 edition of the guide (reprinted in multiple subsequent editions), Green himself wrote:

There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment.

Green died in 1960, four years before the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act greatly reduced the need for the Green Book, which ceased publication in 1967.

Reading is a stellar form of entertainment and it requires that you use your imagination rather than simply watching visuals on a screen. There is also something so therapeutic about the actual feel of a book, with its scent of printed pages and glossy covers. Books are a valuable aspect of society but this wasn’t always the case.

When vocabulary and writing were developed thousands of years ago, clay tablets were used. This evolved into parchment and papyrus. The first form of a book was achieved by the Chinese in the 3rd century, although their books consisted of thick pages, made out of bamboo, that were stitched together. By the mid-15th century, the printing press revolutionized books to become what they are today and made them readily accessible for everyone. Thanks to this ingenious invention we are able to enjoy the prose and poetry of countless authors and poets — from Shakespeare and Tolstoy to George R.R. Martin.

World Book Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on April 23, 1995. This date is chosen because it is the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and prominent Spanish chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

Prior to this, there were several ideas on when World Book Day should be celebrated. Originally, Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andrés suggested that the day should be on a day that honored the author Miguel de Cervantes. This meant that it could either be on his birthday, on October 7, or the day he died, on April 23. Because the day he died coincided with the date on which William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega had also died, this date was chosen. Surprisingly, there are several other famous authors who have also died on April 23, like William Wordsworth and David Halberstam.

Around the world, there are many other dates on which World Book Day takes place. The UK, Sweden, and Ireland all celebrate World Book Day on different dates.

History Book - The origins of Memorial Day

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, May 31st. Good morning! You’re listening to World Radio and we’re so glad you are! I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Next up on The World and Everything In It: The WORLD History Book. Today, memorials: the origins of Memorial Day, a fictional slave who spawned a sea change, and remembering a Christian martyr. Here’s senior correspondent Katie Gaultney.


KATIE GAULTNEY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Five-hundred and ninety years have passed since the English burned Joan of Arc at the stake. The French heroine claimed to have seen saints, who told her the Lord wanted Joan to help France defeat the English. She said she had her first vision at age 13. She was just 19 years old when she died on a pyre in Rouen, France, on May 30, 1431.

Historian Rachel Gibbons told the BBC her death is key to her legacy.

GIBBONS: If she had been found not guilty of heresy. it’s very unlikely we would ever have heard of her dying. Making a sacrifice of herself for what she believed is what brought Joan of Arc to prominence.

She convinced Charles VII, heir to the French throne, and his military commanders that she had divinely inspired knowledge. She did have an exceptional military mind for an uneducated farm girl, leading France to notable victories against the English.

But, she didn’t win every skirmish. The Duke of Burgundy’s men captured her and handed her over to the English. They imprisoned her for over a year on charges of heresy, witchcraft, and violating divine law for dressing like a man. The heresy charge centered on her claim to have heard directly from God.

After wavering a bit, Joan refused to recant and insisted on wearing men’s clothing. Knowing a fiery death awaited her, Joan asked a priest to hold a crucifix high for her to see atop the pyre.

Two and a half decades after her death, Pope Callixtus III declared the charges against Joan of Arc without merit. He made her a martyr and a saint. France now counts her among its nine patron saints.


Moving from sainthood to slavery: Harriet Beecher Stowe was just nine days shy of her 40th birthday when the first installment of her anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, began its 10-month run in an abolitionist newspaper. The National Era published what would become the hottest work of fiction of that century on June 5th, 1851.

R. Blakeslee Gilpin is a history professor at Tulane University. He told PBS the book marked a cultural turning point, a decade before the Civil War.

GILPIN: It’s the most popular book in American history and the most influential book. There’s no competition for that title. It’s going to convert millions of Americans—not to being for immediate abolitionism, not to being for racial equality—but for being against slavery. That’s a huge thing…

Prior to writing her famous novel, Stowe lived in Cincinnati, a border city between free Ohio and Kentucky, a slave state. The white woman’s firsthand experiences, seeing the dichotomy between slave and free, made her increasingly outspoken against slavery. Stowe began to write what she expected would be just a few short sketches for the abolitionist newspaper—giving the slave’s perspective. Gamaliel Bailey in Washington, D.C., edited the serial. It ran for 40 weeks, and picked up steam—and readers—along the way.

The story of the gentle and virtuous slave Tom evoked compassion from readers. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, a history professor at Norfolk State University, told CBN News the serial made people see an ongoing injustice in a new light.

NEWBY-ALEXANDER: It made us see ourselves—it was our emotional mirror. And it prompted some individuals to rethink how they thought of slavery.

After publishers packaged the installments into a novel, printing presses ran 24 hours a day to keep up with demand. It became the best-selling novel of the 19th century, and the second-best-selling book. The Bible took the top spot.

And finally, some of you are likely enjoying a three-day weekend.


You have the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to thank for that. The U.S. Congress passed that law in 1968, saying the country would observe Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day on Mondays.

The United States had celebrated Memorial Day on May 30 every year. But, on May 31, 1971—50 years ago—the United States made a point to observe Memorial Day on the last Monday in May for the first time.

Memorial Day marks a time of reflection, honoring and mourning the members of the United States Armed Forces who have died while performing their military duties. We at WORLD offer our heartfelt gratitude to the fallen—and to those who are missing them today.

REAGAN: Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It has to be fought for and defended by each generation.

That’s this week’s History Book. I’m Katie Gaultney.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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Antiquity: Alphabets, Writing Systems, Writing Materials

Diringer, David, The Alphabet A Key to the History of Mankind (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1968). *R-RAH 85-3.

Diringer, David, The Hand Produced Book (New York: Philosophical Library, 1953). *RR-*I.

Gaur, Albertine, A History of Writing, revised edition (London: British Library, 1992). *R-*IC 92-18728.

Healey, John F., The Early Alphabet (London: British Museum Publications, 1990). JFF 91-804.

Jensen, Hans, Sign, Symbol and Script: An Account of Man's Efforts to Write (New York: Putnam, 1969). F-11 7042.

The Origins of Writing, Wayne M. Senner, ed. (Lincoln, NB London: University of Nebraska Press, 1989). *R-*IC 90-4457.

Reading the Past: Ancient Writing from Cuneiform to the Alphabet (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990). *R-*IC 91-4099.

Thompson, James Westfall, Ancient Libraries (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1962, c1940). *RR-*H or C-12 4275.

Ullman, B.L., Ancient Writing and Its Influence (London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., 1932). *RR-*IC.

The more people we can reach, the more people may be helped.

What is the Book of Jasher and should it be in the Bible?

Also known as the “Book of the Upright One” in the Greek Septuagint and the “Book of the Just Ones” in the Latin Vulgate, the Book of Jasher was probably a collection or compilation of ancient Hebrew songs and poems praising the heroes of Israel and their exploits in battle. The Book of Jasher is mentioned in Joshua 10:12-13 when the Lord stopped the sun in the middle of the day during the battle of Beth Horon. It is also mentioned in 2 Samuel 1:18-27 as containing the Song or Lament of the Bow, that mournful funeral song which David composed at the time of the death of Saul and Jonathan.

The question is, if the Book of Jasher is mentioned in the Bible, why was it left out of the canon of Scripture? We know that God directed the authors of the Scriptures to use passages from many and various extra-biblical sources in composing His Word. The passage recorded in Joshua 10:13 is a good example. In recording this battle, Joshua included passages from the Book of Jasher not because it was his only source of what occurred rather, he was stating, in effect, “If you don’t believe what I’m saying, then go read it in the Book of Jasher. Even that book has a record of this event.”

There are other Hebrew works that are mentioned in the Bible that God directed the authors to use. Some of these include the Book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers 21:14), the Book of Samuel the Seer, the Book of Nathan the Prophet, and the Book of Gad the Seer (1 Chronicles 29:29). Also, there are the Acts of Rehoboam and the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah (1 Kings 14:29). We also know that Solomon composed more than a thousand songs (1 Kings 4:32), yet only two are preserved in the book of Psalms (72 and 127). Writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, Paul included a quotation from the Cretan poet Epimenides (Titus 1:12) and quoted from the poets Epimenides and Aratus in his speech at Athens (Acts 17:28).

The point is that the divine Author of the Bible used materials chosen from many different sources, fitting them into His grand design for the Scriptures. We must understand that history as recorded in the Bible did not occur in isolation. The people mentioned in the Bible interacted with other people. For example, though the Bible is clear that there is only one God, the Bible mentions a number of the gods people worshiped both within Israel and in the nations around. Similarly, as in Acts 17:28 and Titus 1:12, we sometimes find secular writers being quoted. This doesn’t mean that these quoted writers were inspired. It simply means they happened to say something that was useful in making a point.

There is a book called “The Book of Jasher” today, although it is not the same book as mentioned in the Old Testament. It is an eighteenth-century forgery that alleges to be a translation of the “lost” Book of Jasher by Alcuin, an eighth-century English scholar. There is also a more recent book titled “The Book of Jashar” by science fiction and fantasy writer Benjamin Rosenbaum. This book is a complete work of fiction.

Another book by this same name, called by many “Pseudo-Jasher,” while written in Hebrew, is also not the “Book of Jasher” mentioned in Scripture. It is a book of Jewish legends from the creation to the conquest of Canaan under Joshua, but scholars hold that it did not exist before A.D. 1625. In addition, there are several other theological works by Jewish rabbis and scholars called “Sefer ha Yashar,” but none of these claim to be the original Book of Jasher.

In the end, we must conclude that the Book of Jasher mentioned in the Bible was lost and has not survived to modern times. All we really know about it is found in the two Scripture quotations mentioned earlier. The other books by that title are mere fictions or Jewish moral treatises.


Each year more than half a million students participate in the National History Day Contest. Students choose a historical topic related to the annual theme, and then conduct primary and secondary research. You will look through libraries, archives and museums, conduct oral history interviews, and visit historic sites. After you have analyzed and interpreted your sources, and have drawn a conclusion about the significance of your topic, you will then be able to present your work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a website.

Read the rules

Before you begin work on an entry for competition, you, your teacher, and your parents should carefully read the Contest Rule Book. Contact your regional or state/affiliate coordinator to learn if any rules have been revised since the publication of this rule book, and for more information on topics, sources, and deadlines. Find your affiliate coordinator.

Understand the Theme

Each year your research must connect to the NHD theme. The theme changes each year so if you do NHD every year, you will not repeat a theme. The themes are chosen to be broad enough to encourage investigation of topics ranging from local history to world history, and from ancient time to the recent past. To understand the historical importance of your topic you need to ask questions about time, place and context, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance. You must consider not only when and where events happened, but also why they occurred and what factors contributed to their development.

Choose a Topic

Topics for research are everywhere! Think about a time in history or individuals or events that are interesting to you. Start a list.
• Read books, newspapers or other sources of information and add to your list.
• Talk with relatives, neighbors, or people you know who have lived through a particular time in history that interests you and add more ideas.
• Keep thinking, reading and talking to people until you have many ideas that are interesting.

Now go back through the list and circle the ideas that connect with the theme. From the ideas that you circled, select one to begin your research. Keep your list because you might need it again. Selecting a National History Day Contest topic is a process of gradually narrowing down the area of history (period or event) that interests you to a manageable subject.

For example, if you’re interested in Native Americans and the theme is Leadership and Legacy in History, a natural topic would be treaty rights. Now from there, you would consider the resources you have available to you—perhaps your local historical society—and possibly choose a Native American/U.S. treaty based in your affiliate’s history.

Theme: Leadership and Legacy
Interest: presidential power
Topic: Andrew Jackson and the removal of the Cherokee Nation
Issue: the refusal of a president to enforce a Supreme Court ruling

Nothing in history happens in a vacuum. To understand the connections between your topic and the time period, begin reading about the time period and as you read ask yourself questions:

  • Why did my topic happen at this particular time and in this particular place?
  • What were the events or the influences that came before my topic?
  • How was my topic influenced by and how did it influence the economic, social, political, and cultural climate of the time period?

All of these questions will help you to build the story of your topic and grasp the historical significance. This will also help you begin thinking about your thesis.

Develop a Thesis Statement

NHD projects should do more than just tell a story. Every exhibit, performance, documentary, paper and website should make a point about its topic. To do this, you must develop your own argument of the historical impact of the person, event, pattern or idea you are studying. The point you make is called a thesis statement. A thesis statement is not the same as a topic. Your thesis statement explains what you believe to be the impact and significance of your topic in history. Example:

Topic: Battle of Gettysburg
Thesis Statement: The battle of Gettysburg was a major turning point of the Civil War. It turned the tide of the war from the South to the North, pushing back Lee’s army that would never fight again on Northern soil and bringing confidence to the Union army.

Primary Sources

A primary source is a piece of information about a historical event or period in which the creator of the source was an actual participant in or a contemporary of a historical moment. The purpose of primary sources is to capture the words, the thoughts and the intentions of the past. Primary sources help you to interpret what happened and why it happened.

Examples of primary sources include: documents, artifacts, historic sites, songs, or other written and tangible items created during the historical period you are studying.

Secondary Sources

A secondary source is a source that was not created first-hand by someone who participated in the historical era. Secondary sources are usually created by historians, but based on the historian’s reading of primary sources. Secondary sources are usually written decades, if not centuries, after the event occurred by people who did not live through or participate in the event or issue. The purpose of a secondary source is to help build the story of your research from multiple perspectives and to give your research historical context.

An example of a secondary source is Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson, published in 1988. They are a great starting point in helping you see the big picture. Understanding the context of your topic will help you make sense of the primary sources that you find.

The primary and secondary sources McPherson used are listed in the bibliography. Another researcher might consult these same primary sources and reach a different conclusion.


To record the information the two acceptable styles of writing for NHD projects are Turabian and MLA. Historians use Turabian but we know that many classes in middle school and high school teach the MLA style. It does not matter which of these two styles you use, but it is important to be consistent. For help with questions about citations, you can check out Turabian or MLA guides from your local library.

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is required for all categories. The annotation for each source must explain how the source was used and how it helped you understand your topic. You should also use the annotation to explain why you categorized a particular source as primary or secondary. Sources of visual materials and oral interviews, if used, must also be included.

List only those sources that you used to develop your entry. An annotation normally should be only 1-3 sentences long. Visit our Annotated Bibliography page for more information.

NoodleTools: NHD and NoodleTools partner together to bring teachers and students the opportunity to organize their research. Teachers can sign up and receive account access for all of their students to help complete their NHD projects. Noodle Tools can help students track their sources, take notes, organize their ideas, and create their annotated bibliographies. The program allows the teacher to see the progress the students have made and offer direct electronic feedback.

Conducting Interviews

Interviews are not required for an NHD project. Requests to interview historians or other secondary sources are inappropriate. Historians do not interview each other. You are encouraged to read and learn about your topic on your own. Consider interviewing primary sources- eyewitnesses to the events. Learn more at the link below.

Watch the video: Παγκόσμια Ημέρα Αφήγησης 2021. Παρουσίαση του βιβλίου του Δημήτρη Β. Προύσαλη (January 2022).