This Week in Geographic History, February 27 – March 5

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, February 27

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This monument marks the mass grave of those killed in the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The 1973 occupation occurred in the same place. Photograph by Aaron Huey, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Indians Occupy Wounded Knee

In 1973 Native Americans occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, for three months to protest the U.S. government’s unjust policies toward Native Americans.

Map: Battles between Native Americans and the U.S. Army

Background: The Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890

Activity: Read and discuss the history of Native American protests including the current protests at Standing Rock.


Wednesday, March 1

TDIGH: Castle Bravo

Nine years after dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. tested “Castle Bravo”: the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated by the U.S.

Map: The Marshall Islands

Background: The first atomic bomb

Activity: Watch this video about the evolution of American public opinion on nuclear weapons. (Stop at 3:10)


Friday, March 3

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Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (in glasses) meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal (in keffiyeh) in 1974 to discuss the oil embargo. Photograph by European Picture Service, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Oil Discovered in Saudi Arabia

Since the discovery of petroleum in 1938, Saudi Arabia has enjoyed a privileged position in foreign policy because industrialized nations depend on its oil.

Map: International Oil Reserves

Background: What is petroleum?

Activity: Why does oil play a role in international diplomacy? Refer to this article.


TDIGH: Thousands March for Woman Suffrage

While the 1913 march increased attention for the woman suffrage movement, it wasn’t until 1920 that American women gained the right to vote.

Map: Interactive world map of women’s suffrage

Background: Woman suffrage

Activity: Read about the riot that led to the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.


Sunday, March 5

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A girl makes a tombstone rubbing on the grave for victims of the 1770 Boston Massacre. Photograph by George F. Mobley, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Boston Massacre

The 1770 conflict intensified the American colonists’ demand for liberty from Great Britain, pushing them closer to the Revolutionary War.

Map: New England Colonies

Background: Timeline of the American Revolution

Activity: Play the “Road to Revolution” game from PBS.

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