Looking Ahead: This Week in Geographic History, July 25 – 31

Here’s an advance look at a some of the “This Day in Geographic History” (TDIGH) events coming up this week.  For each date, we’ve matched it with a map or visual, background information, and a classroom activity so you can plan ahead.


What do you see in this photo of a full moon?  Photo by NASA/Goddard/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Monday July 25

TDIGH: Satellite Records ‘Face on Mars’

Seeing a “face” on Mars or a man in the moon are examples of pareidolia, an optical illusion of perceiving pattern or meaning where none exists.

Visual: Satellite Images (Go to Resource Type, filter by Photos)

Background: What is pareidolia? Learn more and take a look at some fun examples.

Activity: Build a sunspot viewer to see what shapes you can find!


Tuesday July 26

TDIGH: Liberia Declares Independence

Colonized by freed slaves, Liberia was the first democratic republic in the history of Africa.

Visual: Map of Liberia

Background: Timeline slavery in the U.S.

Activity: Brainstorm factors that led the American Colonization Society to encourage former slaves to create a colony in Africa.


NGS Picture Id:546167
Martin Luther King, Jr. consults with other civil rights leaders during the 1963 March on Washington. Photo by James P. Blair, National Geographic

Thursday July 28

TDIGH: 14th Amendment Adopted

The 14th Amendment granted full citizenship to African Americans and established equal protection under the law, making it central to the Civil Rights movement.

Visual: March on Washington photo timeline

Context: Civil Rights information

Activity: Name a court case that corresponds to each of the 14th Amendment’s four clauses (citizenship, privileges and immunities, due process, and equal protection).


Portrait of a tiger inside Bandhavgarh National Park.
A tiger gazes at the camera inside Bandhavgarh National Park, India. Photo by Steve Winter, National Geographic

Friday July 29

TDIGH: International Tiger Day

#InternationalTigerDay was created in 2010 to help raise awareness for tigers, the most endangered species of the big cats.

Visual: Map of where tigers live in the wild

Background: Learn about the Big Cats Initiative

Activity: Do Bengal and Siberian tigers face the same threats? Tiger Trouble activity


Saturday July 30

TDIGH: USS Indianapolis Sinks

The USS Indianapolis sank after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, just after it delivered uranium for the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima.  Then the sharks came.

Visual: Map of area where the Indianapolis sank

Context: Timeline of World War II

Activity: Listen to survivors of the Indianapolis tell their story

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