This Week in Geographic History, May 22 – 28

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 22

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A bat ray swims along the seafloor in Cortes Bank, California. Photograph by Brian J. Skerry, National Geographic.

TDIGH: International Day for Biological Diversity

The UN created this day in 2000 to raise awareness about protecting living organisms in ecosystems around the world.

Map: Interactive geo-tour of biodiversity in the Amazon

Background: What is biodiversity?

Activity: Do a bioblitz in your backyard!


TDIGH: Valdivia Earthquake Strikes Chile

The magnitude 9.5 earthquake that struck southern Chile in 1960 remains the most powerful earthquake on record.

Map: Plate Tectonics

Background: Video explaining what causes earthquakes

Activity: Using this map of where major earthquakes have occurred and the plate tectonics map , ask students if they notice a pattern to where earthquakes occur. (Answer: The Ring of Fire)


Thursday, May 25

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A man builds a television in a factory in Chicago, Illinois in 1953; the same year of the first public television broadcast. Photograph by Willard Culver, National Geographic.

TDIGH: First Public Television Broadcast in U.S.

Since 1953 public television stations have brought viewers educational and entertaining programs such as Sesame Street and Downton Abbey.

Map: Find your local public television station

Background: How public media works

Activity: Read about President Trump’s plans to cut funding for public broadcasting.


Saturday, May 27

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California’s Golden Gate Bridge connects the city of San Francisco with the Marin Headlands. Photograph by J. Baylor Roberts, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Golden Gate Bridge Opens

California’s iconic bridge was the world’s longest suspension bridge when it opened in 1937.

Visual: Photo of the bridge with fast facts

Background: More info, including a diagram comparing bridge sizes

Activity: Golden Gate Bridge coloring page


Sunday, May 28

TDIGH: Indian Removal Act

The 1830 act led to the brutal forced relocation of 46,000 Native Americans in order to make room for white settlement and slavery in the West.

Map: Native American tribes in North America

Context: Why President Jackson wanted to relocate Native Americans

Activity: Watch the short video “Trail of Tears: Are the Cherokee an Independent Nation?” Ask students to share their view on President Jackson’s choice to defy a Supreme Court decision.

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