This Week in Geographic History, January 9 – 15

Here’s an advance look at 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, January 10

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People enter the London Underground, or Tube, station at Piccadilly Circus. Photograph by Simon Norfolk, National Geographic.

TDIGH: London Underground Opens

The London Underground opened in 1863, making it the oldest underground railway in the world.

Map: London Underground maps from 1931 to today

Context:  GeoStory on public transportation around the world.

Activity: What makes a good subway map? Read this article and answer the discussion questions.


Wednesday, January 11

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The Grand Canyon, located in Arizona, is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Photograph by Pete McBride, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Grand Canyon Becomes a National Monument

President Theodore Roosevelt named the majestic gorge a national monument in 1908; it became a national park in 1919.

Map: The Grand Canyon

Background: What is a canyon?

Activity: Watch this short video about the Grand Canyon.


Thursday, January 12

TDIGH: Earthquake Devastates Haiti

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit the small Caribbean nation in 2010 killed more than 200,000 people.

Map: Earthquakes around the world since 1900

Background: Video: Earthquakes 101

Activity: Read and discuss this photo essay about Haiti, which includes photographs by young Haitians.


Saturday, January 14

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Manzanar War Relocation Center in California was one of 10 internment camps where Japanese-Americans were forcibly held during WWII.  Today, the Manzanar Historic Site commemorates the internment. Photograph by U.S. Govt. GSA National Archives, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Initial Idea for Japanese-American Internment

A month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt formally introduced the idea of interning Japanese-Americans.

Visual: Video – Picturing Japanese American Internment: Dorothea Lange

Background: The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

Activity: Explore arguments for and against the internment of Japanese Americans using this interactive.


Sunday, January 15

TDIGH: Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Through his powerful speeches and commitment to nonviolence, Dr. King advanced the civil rights movement in the U.S. and challenged injustice worldwide.

Visual: Photos and posters documenting MLK’s life

Background: ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and short bio or Video about his life

Activity: Write a found poem about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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