This Week in Geographic History, April 3 – 9

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, April 3

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Jane Goodall gets a friendly hello from a chimpanzee during a visit to the National Geographic Society in 1962. Photograph by B.A. Stewart and J.E. Fletcher, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Happy Birthday, Jane Goodall

The famous primatologist, who began her career studying chimpanzees in Tanzania in 1960, continues to raise awareness about wildlife conservation.

Visual: Video about Jane Goodall’s work

Background: Jane Goodall’s NG Explorer Bio

Activity: Learn more about chimpanzees with these fast facts and photos.


Wednesday, April 5

TDIGH: Battle of the Ice

The 1242 battle in which Russian forces defeated the Teutonic Knights established political borders that remain today.

Map: Russia-Estonia border

Background: Crash Course World History video about the Crusades

Activity: Ocean and Sea Borders


Thursday, April 6

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Explorer Robert E. Peary made 23 attempts to reach the North Pole before his disputed 1909 expedition. Photograph by National Geographic.

TDIGH: Peary Reaches the Pole

It is still disputed whether American explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson actually reached the North Pole in 1909.

Map: The North Pole

Background: Facts about the North Pole’s history, geography, and resources

Activity: Learn about people who live in the North Pole by watching this video on the diet of the Inuit of Greenland.


Friday, April 7

Workers at the Lunsar Ebola Treatment Center in Sierra Leone followed guidelines set by the WHO to respond to the Ebola outbreak of 2014. Photograph by Pete Muller, National Geographic.

TDIGH: World Health Organization Established

Since 1948 the UN agency has provided emergency medical assistance after disasters, fought the spread of diseases, and implemented public health campaigns.

Visual: WHO infographics about vaccines

Background: What does the WHO do?

Activity: Read and discuss this article about a recent WHO report on the deadly effect pollution has on children.


Sunday, April 9

TDIGH: Bataan Death March

After invading the Philippines, the Japanese Army led Filipino and American prisoners of war on a horrific five day march, during which thousands perished.

Map: Route of the Bataan Death March

Background: Interactive Timeline of WWII in the Pacific

Activity: Watch and discuss this video clip of historical footage and interviews with survivors of the march.

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