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.
Monday, January 30
The 1968 surprise attacks carried out by communist-affiliated troops against South Vietnamese and American forces shifted public opinion of the Vietnam War.
Map: U.S. involvement in Vietnam
Background: Timeline of the Vietnam War
Activity: Watch this video about Vietnam War protests and the draft. Ask students what their thoughts are on the protests in the video and if they can make any connections to current protests on other issues.
Wednesday, February 1
TDIGH: Texas Secedes from U.S.
In 1861 Texas voted to secede from the Union largely due to its pro-slavery stance and belief in states’ rights.
Map: 1854 U.S. map showing slave and free states and territories
Background: Texas Becomes a State
Activity: Read Texas’ “Declaration of Causes” and discuss the primary reasons Texas seceded from the U.S.
Thursday, February 2
Since 1997 this day has helped raise awareness about the ecological importance of wetlands.
Visual: American Wetlands Geostory
Background: What is a wetland?
Activity: Biodiversity in a Wetland Ecosystem
Friday, February 3
TDIGH: Paper Money Introduced in U.S.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony printed the first paper money, called a “bill of credit,” in 1690 in what would become the U.S.
Background: The History of American Currency
Activity: Read about the dollar’s influence around the world and review financial vocab. For a vocab game, divide the class into two teams, put the words on the board, call a student from each team to the board, say the definition of a term without saying which term, and students must tap the correct term on the board as quickly as possible- whichever student taps the correct term first, his or her team gets a point!
Saturday, February 5
TDIGH: Belgian King Establishes Congo Free State
The area that is now the Democratic Republic of Congo was a personal possession of the king of Belgium from 1885-1908.
Background: Video: European Imperialism in Africa
Activity: Answer the questions at the end of the video above. Or, to learn more about the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo, watch this Crash Course video.