This Week in Geographic History, September 18 – 24

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 19

NGS Picture Id:131806
This watercolor painting depicts the Iceman’s last moments before he died in the Swiss Alps from arrow wounds. Artwork by Gregory A. Harlin, National Geographic.

TDIGH: ‘Otzi the Iceman’ Discovered

Discovered by hikers in 1991, the “accidental mummy” named Otzi turned out to be more than 5,000 years old.

Map: Otzi discovery site

Background: Surprising facts about Otzi the Iceman, and what he’s teaching us today

Activity: Watch this video about scientists’ work with Himalayan mummies and answer the questions.


TDIGH: Women Gain Full Suffrage in New Zealand

In 1893 New Zealand became the first nation to grant women the right to vote.

Map: Timeline of Women’s Suffrage Worldwide

Context: Women’s Liberation

Activity: Read and discuss highlights from women’s political progress in the U.S.


Thursday, September 21

TDIGH: Malta Gains Independence

The small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964.

Map: Malta

Background: Timeline of Malta’s history

Activity: Use this interactive map to learn about migrant rescue efforts in the Mediterranean Sea. How does Malta’s geographic position affect its role in the international refugee crisis?


Saturday, September 23

Neptune, which gets its blue hue from methane, is named after the Roman god of the sea. Illustration by Lunar and Planetary Institute, NASA

TDIGH: Neptune is Discovered

Neptune was discovered by mathematical prediction in 1846, and is the only planet in our solar system that you cannot see with the naked eye.

Map: The Solar System

Background: The Planets and What is a planet?

Activity: Design and play a trivia game using NASA’s “Neptune: 10 Need-To-Know-Things.”


Sunday, September 24

Soldiers escort African-American students to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, the first school to be integrated following the Brown v. Board decision. Photograph by U.S. Army, Courtesy of National Archives and Wikimedia

TDIGH: Armed Escort for Little Rock Nine

In 1957 President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to ensure that nine African American students were integrated into a previously all-white high school.

Map: School Segregation (2011-2012)

Background: Brown v. Board

Activity: (Warning: Audio contains some strong language.) Listen to “One of the ‘Little Rock Nine’ Looks Back” and discuss the following question: How could the U.S. government have better protected black students who were being forced to integrate schools?

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