This Week in Geographic History, October 31 – November 6

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 31

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People cross the street in Tokyo, Japan – the most populated city in the world. Photograph by Jodi Cobb, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Day of 7 Billion

In 2011 the UN recognized that the worldwide population had reached 7 billion; it is projected to pass 9 billion by 2050.

Map: Population Density

Background: 7 billion video

Activity: Why are some parts of the world more crowded than others?


Tuesday, November 1

TDIGH: Happy Birthday, Alfred Wegener

Geologist Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift, the idea that continents move over time, was later explained by plate tectonics.

Map: The movement of Earth’s tectonic plates

Background: Continental drift

Activity: Watch this video about plate tectonics.


Friday, November 4

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This gold funerary mask was found in King Tut’s tomb along with gold jewelry, headdresses, and ceremonial objects. Photograph by Kenneth Garrett, National Geographic.

TDIGH: King Tut’s Tomb Discovered

In 1922, the tomb of the boy pharaoh was discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, nearly 3,000 years after his death.

Visual: Exclusive photos of King Tut’s tomb

Background: More info about the pharaoh’s life and early death

Activity: Learn about and discuss the “virtual autopsy” of King Tut.


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Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi ruled Iran from 1941 until 1979, when he was overthrown in the Iranian Revolution. Photograph by Thomas J. Abercrombie, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Iranian Hostage Crisis

In response to US support for the deposed shah, Iranian revolutionaries stormed the US embassy in 1979 and held Americans hostage for over a year.

Map: Iran

Background: Timeline of US-Iranian relations

Activity: Read and discuss reactions to the crisis at the time. Ask students if they agree with how Carter handled the crisis. How could he have responded differently?


Saturday, November 5

TDIGH: Susan B. Anthony Illegally Votes

The famous suffragist and women’s rights advocate illegally voted in 1872, decades before the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.

Visual: Map showing the role of women voters in the 2016 election

Background: Woman Suffrage

Activity: Read  The 1913 March for Woman Suffrage. Why was there conflict between the woman suffrage movement and civil rights movement?

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