This Week in Geographic History, November 28 – December 4

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, November 29

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This 1914 image shows the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem in the British mandate of Palestine before the area was officially divided. Photograph by American Colony Photographers, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Palestine Divided

The UN’s 1947 decision to divide the British territory into a Jewish and an Arab state resulted in a conflict that continues to this day.

Map: Israel and the Palestinian territories

Background: British support for a Jewish state

Activity: Watch this video to see perspectives from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

TDIGH: Sand Creek Massacre

More than 200 members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes were slaughtered by the US Army in Sand Creek, Colorado in 1864.

Map: Battles between Native Americans and the US Army

Background: Indian Removal Act

Activity: Use this photo essay about the Dakota Access Pipeline to discuss how the US government continues to violate Native Americans’ rights.  


Thursday, December 1

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Rosa Parks’ arrest ignited the civil rights movement which led to national demonstrations like the 1963 March on Washington, shown here. Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic

TDIGH: Rosa Parks Arrested

In 1955 Rosa Parks challenged segregation on a bus, helping spark the civil rights movement.

Visual: Jim Crow laws and signs

Background: Civil Rights resources

Activity: Read about and discuss five current civil rights leaders. What are some civil rights issues that are still not resolved?


Friday, December 2

TDIGH: Cartographer Mercator Dies

The 16th century cartographer is famous for creating the Mercator projection, which greatly improved navigation.

Visual: The cartographer’s dilemma

Background: What is an atlas?

Activity: Learn about what it’s like to be a cartographer.


Sunday, December 4

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London’s weather conditions played a role in the Great Smog of 1952. Photograph by Alex Webb, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Great Smog of 1952

Polluted air and a change in weather patterns created a smog that blanketed London for a week, killing thousands.

Map: Air quality in the US

Background: What is smog?

Activity: Measuring Air Quality

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