This Week in Geographic History, February 20 – 26

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, February 21

NGS Picture Id:1253580
Richard and Pat Nixon, shown visiting the Soviet Union in 1959 while Nixon was vice president, traveled to China together in 1972. Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Nixon in China

President Nixon’s surprising 1972 visit to Beijing paved the way for the U.S. government’s eventual recognition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Visual: Interactive timeline of US-China relations

Background: The Two Chinas

Activity: Considering the context of 1972 (the Cold War and the Vietnam War), why did the U.S. want to have improved relations with China? (Answer can be found here.)


Wednesday, February 22

TDIGH: UK Grants Independence to Egypt

The United Kingdom controlled Egypt from the outbreak of WWI until 1922, though it remained involved in Egypt’s affairs for years after.

Map: Egypt

Background: Britain’s interest in Egypt: the Suez Canal

Activity: Using Mapmaker Interactive, ask students to explain why Egypt’s geographic position made it important to the British.


Saturday, February 25

NGS Picture Id:611493
Residents of Salzburg, Austria, show support for Hitler during his 1938 invasion. Photograph by European Picture Service, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Hitler Becomes a German

A native Austrian, Adolf Hitler gained German citizenship in 1932, allowing him to run for office and quickly seize power.

Visual: PBS’ archival photographs of Hitler

Background: Hitler’s rise to power

Activity: Watch this film and discuss how the end WWI helped lead to the rise of Nazism in Germany.

TDIGH: People Power in the Philippines

In 1986, after 21 years of dictatorship, the people of the Philippines elected Asia’s first female president: Corazon Aquino.

Map: The Philippines or more detailed version (please use Safari to open)

Background: Timeline: History of the Philippines

Activity: Learn about where in the world women have served as heads of state.


Sunday, February 26

Yellowstone MM8326, Yellowstone MM8326
A moose grazes in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Photograph by Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Grand Teton National Park Created

The area in Wyoming next to Yellowstone officially became a national park in 1929, though the surrounding mountains weren’t added until 1950.

Map: Elk migrations around Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Background: National Park Service created

Activity: What are our most popular national parks?

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