This Week in Geographic History, May 1 – 7

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, May 1

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Ferris wheels, like this one in Tianjin, China, were introduced at the Chicago World’s Fair. Photograph by Michael S. Yamashita, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Chicago World’s Fair Opens

The 1893 international exhibition showcased American inventions and boosted the image of recently rebuilt Chicago.

Map: Illinois

Background: The Chicago Fire of 1871 and the ‘Great Rebuilding’

Activity: Watch this video to learn about the inventions showcased at the Chicago World’s Fair, as well as the cultural trends at the time.


Thursday, May 4

TDIGH: Four Dead in Ohio

In 1970, the U.S. National Guard opened fire on Vietnam War protesters at Kent State University, killing four students.

Visual: Video about the Kent State shooting and its aftermath

Background: The Antiwar Movement

Activity: Listen to this piece about how the Vietnam War can be explained through the music it inspired.


Friday, May 5

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A mural in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles celebrates Mexican-American culture. Photograph by Jodi Cobb, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Cinco de Mayo

Though technically the holiday commemorates the Mexican victory over the French in 1862, it has evolved into a celebration of Mexican-American identity.

Map: Interactive map of the Battle of Puebla

Background: Five Fast Facts about Cinco de Mayo

Activity: Explore this photo gallery and discuss the history behind Cinco de Mayo.


Saturday, May 6

TDIGH: ‘Chunnel’ Opens

Since 1994 the underwater tunnel between Great Britain and mainland Europe has made travel faster and more affordable.

Map: Channel Tunnel

Background: Fast Facts about the Channel Tunnel

Activity: Learn how engineers built the Chunnel.


Sunday, May 7

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Alaska’s Mount Denali, formerly named Mount McKinley, is one of the “Seven Summits.” Photograph by Aaron Huey, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Mountaineer Reaches All ‘Seven Summits’

In 1986 Patrick Morrow became the first person to reach the summit of the tallest mountain on each continent.

Map: The Seven Summits

Background: Collection of resources about mountains

Activity: Read about Wasfia Nazreen, a National Geographic explorer who became the first Bangladeshi to climb the Seven Summits.

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