Looking Ahead: This Week in Geographic History, August 15-21

Monday, August 15

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Crowds watch as the first ship passes through the Panama Canal in 1914. Photograph by Roscoe G. Searle, National Geographic

TDIGH: Panama Canal Opens

The canal, which cuts across the Isthmus of Panama, allows ships to travel from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean in half the time.

Map: Historical map showing Panama’s unique location

Background: Read more about the Panama Canal

Activity: How is climate change affecting shipping?



Wednesday, August 17

TDIGH: Davy Crockett Born

Though the “King of the Wild Frontier” fought against Native Americans as a soldier, he later stood up for their rights as a statesman.

Map: Native American cultural regions

Background: Read about the Indian Removal Act, which Crockett opposed

Activity: Use this collection of maps to discuss multiple perspectives on Westward Expansion.



Friday, August 19

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Orville Wright flies the first airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Photograph by U.S. Army Air Service, National Geographic

TDIGH: Happy Birthday, Orville Wright

Orville Wright, along with his brother Wilbur, successfully flew the first powered airplane in 1903.

Visual: Watch a video on how planes fly  

Background: Info about the first flight

Activity: Read this interview with a pilot and educator and discuss


TDIGH: World Humanitarian Day

In 2009 the United Nations created this day to honor those who help others in times of crisis, whether man-made or environmental.

Map: Trace the world’s most congested human migration routes in five maps

Background: Humanitarian aid often focuses on refugees

Activity: Read about how crisis mapping is improving humanitarian response



Sunday, August 21

TDIGH: First Shogunate in Japan

The appointment of Minamoto Yorimoto to shogun in 1192 established the first of three shogunates, or military governments, which led Japan until 1868.

Map: Japan   

Background: Learn more about the culture and politics of Asia

Activity: How did the arrival of American ships in 1853 contribute to the fall of the shogunate in 1868?

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