This Week in Geographic History, September 25 – October 1

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!


Monday, September 25

Sequoia National Park's Old Growth Forest, home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world
Giant sequoias, a type of redwood tree, tower above the ground in California’s Sequoia National Park. Photograph by Keith Ladzinski, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Sequoia National Park is Created

Created in 1890, the California national park is named for the giant sequoia tree; the world’s largest living organism.

Map: Sequoia National Park

Background: More about redwoods

Activity: Watch this short video about how climate change is affecting California’s sequoias, and answer the discussion questions.



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The border between England and Scotland was established in 1237. Today both countries are part of the United Kingdom. Map by NGM Maps, National Geographic

TDIGH: Treaty of York

The treaty signed in 1237 established the border between England and Scotland; one of the oldest existing political borders.

Map: The United Kingdom

Context: Brexit

Activity: Choose one of the activities from this lesson on the languages and religions of the U.K. and Ireland.


Thursday, September 28

TDIGH: Penicillin Discovered

In 1928 Alexander Fleming discovered one of the world’s most important antibiotics after noticing mold growing in his lab.

Visual: Video about microbes

Background: The story behind penicillin”

Activity: Watch this video about increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics. How are antibiotics different from other medications?


Friday, September 29

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Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Samoa is significantly more likely to experience earthquakes and tsunamis than most parts of the world. Photograph by Robert B. Goodman

TDIGH: Tsunami Hits South Pacific

In 2009 a magnitude 8.1 earthquake occurred in the Pacific Ocean, generating a tsunami that devastated the Samoan Islands.

Map: Samoa and American Samoa

Background:  Video: Tsunamis 101

Activity: Read about plate tectonics. How does the theory of plate tectonics explain where tsunamis occur? (More info here.)


Sunday, October 1

TDIGH: Yosemite National Park Established

Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite is one of America’s oldest national parks, designated in 1890.

Visual: Half Dome

Context: National Parks resources

Activity: Listen to this segment about how Yosemite rangers are using technology to save bears from speeding cars and explore this interactive bear tracker map.


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