This Week in Geographic History, September 26 – October 2

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.

Monday, September 26

Weston Antique Apples
Unlike these apples from an orchard in Wisconsin, Johnny Appleseed’s apples were inedible. Photograph by Jim Richardson, National Geographic

TDIGH: Happy Birthday, Johnny Appleseed

Born as John Chapman in 1774, the nomadic farmer got his nickname from the thousands of apple trees he planted across America’s western frontier.

Map: See how the American “frontier” changed over time

Context: Johnny Appleseed is an icon of the conservation movement.

Activity: Read about a suburban farm where you can pick your own apples.


Tuesday, September 27

TDIGH: Typhoon Devastates Japan

The 1959 storm, called a typhoon rather than a hurricane due to its location in the NW Pacific Ocean, resulted in 5,000 deaths.

Map: Japan

Background: More info on extreme weather

Activity: Learn more about hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones using this interactive.


Friday, September 30

NGS Picture Id:1165673
A row of books translated into a variety of languages. Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

TDIGH: International Translation Day

This day was created in 1953 to acknowledge the vital role that translators play in our increasingly globalized society.

Visual: Video about learning a second language

Context: Which words are especially hard to translate?

Activity: Explore our Language Diversity Index and discuss reasons why some countries speak more languages than others.


Saturday, October 1

NGS Picture Id:1443482
Yosemite National Park’s iconic rock formation, El Capitan, is reflected in the Merced River. Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic

TDIGH: Yosemite National Park Established

Established by Congress in 1890, Yosemite National Park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and is home to North America’s highest waterfall.

Visual: Video of Yosemite

Background: Creation of the National Park Service

Activity: Use this map to see which Native American people lived in the territory that became Yosemite National Park.


Sunday, October 2

TDIGH: Supreme Court Swears in First African-American Justice

Thurgood Marshall served on the Supreme Court from 1967-1991 and played a central role in ending segregation through the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education.

Visual: Timeline: slavery through the civil rights movement

Background: Learn about Brown v. Board of Education

Activity: Read about current civil rights leaders and discuss the ways that racial discrimination still exists in America.

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