Looking Ahead: This Week in Geographic History, August 22-28

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.

Tuesday, August 23

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Slaves were packed into ships for the deadly journey from Africa to the Americas and then sold at auction. Artwork by Richard Schlecht, National Geographic.

TDIGH: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

In 1998 the United Nations created this day to honor those enslaved through the transatlantic slave trade and celebrate its abolition.

Map: Colonial trade routes

Background: Human geography of Africa and the effects of the slave trade

Activity: Read a slave sale ad and discuss lasting negative effects of slavery in America


Wednesday, August 24

TDIGH: Vesuvius Erupts

Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE, destroying the Roman town of Pompeii. Though it hasn’t erupted since 1944, Vesuvius is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

Map: Volcanic eruptions around the world

Background: Volcanoes

Activity: What do you know about volcanic eruptions?


Thursday, August 25

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Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is one of the top ten most popular national parks in the U.S. Photograph by Pete McBride, National Geographic.

TDIGH: National Park Service Created

This year marks the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, created by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.

Map: The most popular national parks in the U.S.

Background: Explore our collection of resources on national parks

Activity: Choose from the discussion questions here or discuss which national parks students have been to or want to visit.


Saturday, August 27

TDIGH: Sack of Rome

Visigoths from eastern Europe defeated and looted the city of Rome in 410, contributing to the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476.

Visual: Color in pages from Ancient Rome

Background: Learn more about Rome

Activity: Go over the dates, similarities and differences of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.


Sunday, August 28

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic.

TDIGH: ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech at the 1963 March on Washington was a defining moment in the civil rights movement and is considered the greatest speech of the 20th century.

Audio: Watch a clip of the speech

Background: Brief bio of MLK

Activity: Look at photos from the March on Washington and read the “Fast Facts” section.

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