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, October 17
The magnitude 6.9 earthquake near Oakland, California in 1989 was triggered by the shifting tectonic plates along the San Andreas Fault.
Map: Tectonic activity around the world
Background: What is the Ring of Fire?
Activity: Watch our “Earthquakes 101” video
TDIGH: OPEC Embargoes Oil to U.S.
Reacting to U.S. support for Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, OPEC restricted oil exports to the U.S., causing high gas prices and rationing.
Map: Which countries use the most renewable energy?
Background: More about OPEC
Activity: Discuss why an embargo can be a political weapon and ask if students know any other examples of embargoes. (For grades 9-12: History of the Oil Crisis Quiz)
Tuesday, October 18
TDIGH: Mason-Dixon Survey Completed
Though the line was created to resolve a border dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland, it also marked the division between the north and south during the Civil War.
Map: The Underground Railroad took slaves north of the Mason-Dixon line.
Background: What are boundaries?
Activity: Use MapMaker to pick a country and ask students to identify physical boundaries within it (i.e. the Rio Grande is the boundary between Texas and Mexico).
Thursday, October 20
The UN created this day in 2010 to acknowledge the vital role statistics play in making informed policy decisions. Technically celebrated every five years, the next official World Statistics Day is in 2020.
Visual: World Statistics Clock
Context: What statistics can you calculate using census data? (i.e. percentage of households with pets, number of senior citizens, etc)
Activity: Explore our Human Footprint interactive to calculate statistics about your impact on the environment.
Saturday, October 22
TDIGH: Kennedy ‘Quarantines’ Cuba
In response to finding Soviet nuclear facilities in Cuba in 1962, the U.S. quarantined the island, escalating the conflict known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Map: Cuba and NG Kids Country Profile: Cuba
Background: U.S.- Cuba relations, past and present
Activity: 13 Days: President Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis