This Week in Geographic History, September 4 – 10

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.

Check out our Pinterest board for more related resources!

Tuesday, September 5

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Conservationists tag a white-backed vulture chick in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Photograph by Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic.

TDIGH: International Vulture Awareness Day

Vultures play a critical role in ecosystems yet they are being increasingly threatened by poisoning and habitat loss.

Visual: Photo and video essay about vultures

Background: What is a scavenger?

Activity: Watch this video about Cape vultures and answer the questions.



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The Voyager I is now traveling through interstellar space, also known as the region between the stars. Photograph by NASA, National Geographic.

TDIGH: NASA Launches Voyager I

The spacecraft launched in 1977 explored Jupiter and Saturn, and is now on a mission to explore the interstellar medium.

Visual: Images taken by Voyager

Background: Voyager mission overview and timeline

Activity: Read this blog post about Voyager I and choose one of the video and discussion activities.



Wednesday, September 6

TDIGH: Halley Returns from Voyage

During his 1700 voyage, British scientist Edmond Halley drew the first map with lines to show variation in Earth’s magnetic field.

Map: Magnetic change over time

Background: Magnetism

Activity: Read about compasses. How do compasses interact with Earth’s magnetic field?



Thursday, September 7

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This painting depicts Nazi Germany’s aerial bombing attack on London, England in 1940. Artwork by William H. Bond, National Geographic.

TDIGH: London Blitz

Known as “the Blitz,” Nazi Germany’s WWII bombing campaign against Britain began in 1940 and lasted for eight months.

Map: United Kingdom

Background: Interactive timeline: WWII in Europe

Activity: Explore more facts, photos, and videos about the Blitz.



Saturday, September 9

TDIGH: World’s First Computer Bug

The term “bug” originated from computer scientist Grace Hopper’s 1947 discovery that her computer issues were being caused by a moth trapped in the machine’s hardware.

Video: Who is Grace Hopper?

Background: The first computer

Activity: Learn about a famous computer bug that didn’t turn into the threat some people had predicted.


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