Looking Ahead: This Week in Geographic History, August 1-7

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.

Wednesday, August 3

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Sailors stand at attention in front of flag-draped coffins during World War I. The conflict that began in Eastern Europe in 1914 expanded to involve countries across Europe, Asia, and North America by 1918.  Photo by National Geographic

TDIGH: France and Germany Declare War

Following the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914, war broke out between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. A tangled alliance system quickly drew other European powers into the conflict, which became World War I.  

Visual: Map of Western Europe

Background: Read about the toll of WWI in France

Activity: See how Europe’s borders have changed from WWI to the present


Thursday, August 4

TDIGH: Fairness Doctrine Repealed

Until this day in 1987, broadcasters were required to present honest information on both sides of controversial issues.

Visual: Get a closer look at the Bill of Rights

Background: Learn more about freedom of the press

Activity: How would the 2016 presidential campaign look different if the Fairness Doctrine was still in place?


Friday, August 5

TDIGH: Cowra Breakout

In one of the most violent prison breakouts in history, 231 Japanese prisoners of war were killed attempting to escape a POW camp in Cowra, New South Wales, Australia, in 1944.

Visual: Map of Australia

Context: Read about Japanese-American Internment in the United States. 

Activity: Discuss how Australia, the United States, and other Allied nations have rebuilt cultural ties with Japan since WWII.


Saturday, August 6

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The Twin Peaks lie in the background of this panoramic view of Mars’ surface. Photograph by NASA/JPL

TDIGH: NASA Provides Evidence for Possible Life on Mars

The 1996 discovery of a meteorite containing fossilized bacteria suggested that life could exist on Mars.

Visual: Map of Martian meteorite discovery sites on Earth

Background: More information about Martian meteorites

Activity: Explore Mars game


Sunday, August 7

TDIGH: State of Emergency at Love Canal

The discovery of toxic waste near Niagara Falls, New York, caused President Jimmy Carter to declare a state of emergency and motivated the EPA to create the Superfund program.

Visual: Interactive map of Superfund sites

Background: What is the Superfund program?

Activity: Learn about different types of hazardous waste and how to properly dispose of them.


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