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 23
TDIGH: Piccard and Walsh Go Deep
In 1960, explorers Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh traveled to the deepest point on Earth: the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.
Map: Photos, maps, and more info about ocean trenches
Background: Collection of resources about the Mariana Trench and a short video
Activity: Explore this interactive GeoStory about James Cameron’s 2012 journey to the Challenger Deep—where Don Walsh was a part of his crew.
Wednesday, January 24
TDIGH: California Gold Rush Begins
James Marshall’s discovery of gold in the American river in 1848 sparked a mass migration to California.
Map: Download and print this big, beautiful map of California’s historic gold mines
Background: The discovery of gold in California
Activity: Read this article about immigration and demographics in 19th-century California. What were the long-term effects of the California Gold Rush?
Thursday, January 25
TDIGH: Around the World in 72 Days
New technology (telegram and telegraph) made investigative journalist and traveler Nellie Bly the proto-Tweeter of the late 19th-century.
Map: Zoom in on Nellie Bly’s whirlwind, worldwide trip.
Background: Learn more about this pioneering journalist with articles, images, and a biography.
Activity: Use this terrific lesson plan to introduce students to primary sources, map skills, and journalism through the life and work of Nellie Bly.
Friday, January 27
TDIGH: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
The UN created this day in 2006 to honor the victims and survivors of the genocide carried out by the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s.
Visual: Timeline and photos from U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Background: Wannsee Conference outlines the “Final Solution”
Activity: Listen to a Holocaust survivor share his view on “The Nature of Evil” and importance of speaking out.
TDIGH: Bombs Away at the Nevada Test Site
The long series of nuclear explosions at what is now the Nevada National Security Site altered the physical and cultural geography of the West.
Visual: Thousands of films showing U.S. atmospheric nuclear weapons tests are freely, publicly available on YouTube—and we have a study guide to accompany them.
Map: Where did the U.S. conduct atmospheric nuclear tests?
Background: Where was the first nuclear weapon detonated?
Activity: Operation Clean Desert in the Classroom is a science module that uses characters, Dr. Proton and Adam the Atom, to educate students about environmental cleanup of contamination caused by the historic nuclear testing at the Nevada National Security Site.