This Week in Geographic History, December 11 – 17

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, December 11

This image from NASA shows how wind carries air pollution from Chinese industrial and agricultural activities across the East China Sea, toward Japan. Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

TDIGH: Kyoto Protocol Signed

The 1997 agreement was the first international effort to slow climate change.

Map: Global Carbon Emissions

Background: Greenhouse Gases Deemed Air Pollutants

Activity: Read about the most recent climate change accord, the Paris Agreement. Why do you think the Trump administration refuses to have the U.S. join?


Wednesday, December 13

TDIGH: George W. Bush Claims U.S. Presidency

Despite Al Gore winning the popular vote and the Florida recount being unfinished, the Supreme Court declared Bush the winner of the 2000 election.

Map: The Electoral College

Background: Bush v. Gore (2000)

Activity: Read this article and ask students to make connections between the 2000 and 2016 elections.


Thursday, December 14

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 5.05.20 PM
A sled dog belonging to Roald Amundsen’s rival, Robert Falcon Scott, checks out a gramophone during their expedition to the South Pole. Photograph by Herbert G. Ponting, National Geographic

TDIGH: Amundsen Reaches South Pole

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen outraced Robert Falcon Scott to become the first person to reach the South Pole in 1911.

Map: Race to the Pole

Background: More info about the South Pole

Activity: Watch historic footage from Amundsen’s 1911 expedition. What are two things that the video clip made you wonder?


Saturday, December 16

This lovely lithograph of the Boston Tea Party was made in 1846, 73 years after the actual Boston Tea Party.
Lithograph by Nathaniel Currier, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

TDIGH: The Boston Tea Party

In 1773 American colonists dumped tea into the Boston Harbor to protest “taxation without representation” under British rule.

Map: Battles of the Revolutionary War

Background: Timeline of the Revolution

Activity: Watch and discuss this video about the Boston Tea Party.


Sunday, December 17

Orville Wright flies the first airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Photograph by U.S. Army Air Service, National Geographic

TDIGH: First Successful Airplane Flight

In 1903 the Wright brothers successfully flew an engine-powered, manned airplane for the first time.

Visual: Photo gallery of the 1903 Wright flyer

Background: History of Aviation

Activity: Choose an airplane-related activity from this NASA Aeronautics guide.

Leave a Reply