This Week in Geographic History, November 13 – 19

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, November 14

A diabetic woman plays virtual tennis inside while her daughter plays outside their home in Lambert, Mississippi. The entire state of Mississippi is included in what the CDC calls the U.S. “Diabetes Belt.” Photograph by John Stanmeyer, National Geographic

TDIGH: World Diabetes Day

Created by the International Diabetes Federation in 1991, this day raises awareness about the disease that affects over 400 million people worldwide.

Map: Diabetes Atlas

Background: 10 Facts about Diabetes

Activity: Explore this infographic about diabetes in the U.S. Which statistic do you find the most surprising?


Thursday, November 16

TDIGH: Happy Birthday, Chinua Achebe

Born in 1930, the Nigerian author is most famous for writing Things Fall Apart; the first African novel to be widely read in the West.

Map: Nigeria

Background: Biography

Activity: Check out our reading list of books from or about Africa. Which ones have you read? Which one do you want to read next?


Friday, November 17

NGS Picture Id:605810
People carry bags of coal onto a steamer in Port Said, at the northern end of the Suez Canal in 1922. Photograph by William Reid, National Geographic

TDIGH: Suez Canal Opens

Since 1869 the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, has allowed for faster trade between Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Map: Egypt

Background: What is an isthmus?

Activity: The U.K. granted Egypt its independence in 1922 but retained control of Suez Control trade. Do you think this was fair? Why or why not?


Saturday, November 18

TDIGH: North American Times Zones Created

In 1883 American and Canadian railroads established standard time zones, eliminating the confusion of each railroad keeping its own time.

Map: U.S. Standard Times Zones

Background: How do we determine where each time zone begins and ends?

Activity: Read about how China only has one time zone. Would you rather live in a country with one time zone, even if it meant the sun setting at midnight or rising at 10am?  


Sunday, November 19

TDIGH: Lincoln Delivers Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 speech at the site of the largest battle of the Civil War is one of the most famous speeches in American History.

Map: Battles of the U.S. Civil War

Background: The Battle of Gettysburg

Activity: Listen to famous politicians and comedians read or recite the Gettysburg Address. Bonus: Make a video of your class reading the Address!


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