This Week in Geographic History, November 7 – 13

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, November 7

NGS Picture Id:603700
Russian peasants, who made up a large part of the Bolshevik party, hold images of Communist leaders, including (clockwise from left) Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Anatoly Lunacharsky, and an unusually clean-shaven mystery communist we can’t identify. Photograph by Kadel & Herbert, National Geographic

TDIGH: October Revolution

The Bolshevik party, led by lawyer Vladimir Lenin, seized control of the Russian government in 1917 and five years later created the Soviet Union.

Map: Republics of the Soviet Union

Background: What caused the Bolshevik Revolution?

Activity: Watch this video about the Russian Revolution (includes both revolutions of  1917).


Wednesday, November 9

TDIGH: Great Northeast Blackout

The 1965 blackout paralyzed businesses and transportation systems across the northeast U.S. and Ontario, Canada, affecting more than 30 million people.

Map: The U.S. electric grid

Background: Nat Geo resources on electricity

Activity: Read and discuss the California Blackouts.


Friday, November 11

NGS Picture Id:2338629
Pilgrims built Plymouth Colony on land that belonged to Native Americans without their permission. Map by NGS Maps, National Geographic

TDIGH: Mayflower Compact

Upon landing in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, the pilgrims created a compact outlining rules for the new colony.

Map: The Mayflower’s route

Background: More info about the journey and the document

Activity: What democratic ideas exist in the Mayflower Compact? Complete the Mayflower Compact portion of this activity.

TDIGH: ‘The Great War’ Ends

Germany’s surrender in 1918 marked the end of World War I, the most destructive conflict in human history up to that point.

Visual: Images from WWI

Background: Timeline of WWI

Activity: Learn about the Paris Peace Conference after WWI. What was the result of the harsh terms placed on Germany? 


Saturday, November 12

NGS Picture Id:603487
An immigrant child carries luggage at Ellis Island in 1918. Photograph by Paul Thompson, National Geographic

TDIGH: Ellis Island Closes

Between 1892 and 1954, more than 12 million immigrants entered the U.S. through Ellis Island.

Map: Immigration to the U.S. in the late 1800s

Background: The different types of human migration

Activity: Watch this video about what Ellis Island means today.

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