This Week in Geographic History: January 15-21

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, January 15

TDIGH: Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Through his powerful speeches and commitment to nonviolence, Dr. King advanced the civil rights movement in the U.S. and challenged injustice worldwide.

Visual: Photos and posters documenting MLK’s life

Background: ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and short bio or a video about the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial.

Activity: Write a found poem about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.


Tuesday, January 16

TDIGH: First Jazz Concert at Carnegie Hall

The concert, organized by legendary clarinetist Benny Goodman, was also the first time African American musicians played at the venue.

Map: Visit Carnegie Hall!

Background: Navigate the geography of jazz with our great GeoStory!

Activity: Use these fantastic lesson plans from Jazz in America to help students recognize jazz as an “integral component to American history and social studies.”


Wednesday, January 17

Members of the UN Security Council discuss Arab-Israeli relations at a meeting in 1961.
Photograph by B.A. Stewart and J.E. Fletcher, National Geographic.

TDIGH: First Meeting of the Security Council

The United Nations Security Council, which is tasked with the responsibility of “maintaining international peace and security,” first met in 1946.

Map: Can you find the current members of the Security Council on a Map?

Background: What nations are members of the Security Council?

Activity: Read info about the Security Council and complete the quick quiz, then learn how a Model UN can help students in their guide for geographic literacy.


Friday, January 19

The continent of Antarctica was discovered less than 100 years before this ship, the Terra Nova, and its entire crew (including Robert Falcon Scott) were lost in the forbidding ice.
Photograph by Herbert G. Ponting, National Geographic

TDIGH: Antarctica Discovered

U.S. naval officer Charles Wilkes was the first person to identify the continent of Antarctica in 1840.

Map: Zoom in on this hi-res map of Antarctica.

Background: Facts and photos about Antarctica

Activity: Watch this video about the coldest place on Earth.


Iva Toguri, a Los Angeles native, was one of several women nicknamed “Tokyo Rose” during World War II.
Photograph courtesy National Archives, Department of Justice

TDIGH: “Tokyo Rose” Pardoned

During World War II, Iva Toguri, an American, was forced to participate in a propaganda program broadcast to Americans and other Allies in the Pacific theater. Upon being pardoned 30 years later, Toguri recalled the support she received from her father: “You were like a tiger, you never changed your stripes, you stayed American through and through.”

Visual: Watch a “60 Minutes” profile of Iva Toguri and the racism she faced at home and abroad.

Background: Learn how the FBI prosecuted Toguri with their article here, and put her experience in context with our timeline of WWII in the Pacific here.

Activity: Use this lesson plan from the National Park Service to help students understand Tokyo Rose’s propaganda role in WWII.

Leave a Reply