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 29
TDIGH: First Successful Summit of Mount Everest
In 1953 two mountaineers were the first to make it to the summit of the highest elevation in the world.
Map: Surface Elevation
Background: Fast Facts about Mount Everest
Activity: Learn more about the 2014 disaster on Everest, including how avalanches happen, then engage your class in discussion questions about the business of climbing Everest.
Tuesday, May 30
TDIGH: NASA Launches Mariner 9 to Study Mars
The unmanned space probe that NASA launched in 1971 sent back images of volcanoes and canyons on Mars.
Background: Mars facts from NASA
Activity: What does water on the Red Planet mean?
Wednesday, May 31
The 1889 man-made flood in Pennsylvania resulted in more than 2,000 deaths and changed how lawsuits are handled.
Map: Interactive flood information map of U.S.
Background: What is a flood plain? and facts about the 1889 flood
Activity: Read about the negative results of dams and the positive. Ask students if they think that the good things about dams outweigh the bad.
Saturday, June 3
In 1943 white police and military servicemen in L.A. engaged in a series of violent conflicts with Latinos.
Visual: Watch a brief video about the play “Zoot Suit”
Background: More information about the riots
Activity: Read and discuss this article about police brutality toward Latinos.
Sunday, June 4
TDIGH: Tiananmen Square Massacre
Though the exact death toll remains unknown, several hundred to a thousand people were killed in China in 1989 for peacefully protesting government policies.
Visual: Photo gallery: “Tiananmen, Then and Now”
Background: The Two Chinas
Activity: Explore this timeline of the 1989 protests and massacre and discuss the impact of the Chinese government’s decision to use military force.