This Week in Geographic History: June 4-10

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 resources!


Monday, June 4

TDIGH 1989: Tiananmen Square Massacre

Though the exact death toll remains unknown, several hundred to a thousand people were killed for peacefully protesting government policies.

Visual: Browse through this photo gallery: “Tiananmen, Then and Now”.

Background: Use this short timeline to get fast facts about the protests at Tiananmen.

Activity: Use this lesson plan to help students better understand “Tank Man”, Tiananmen Square, and the consequences of protest and censorship.


Tuesday, June 5

TDIGH: World Environment Day

The UN calls World Environment Day “the biggest day for positive environmental action.” The theme for World Environment Day is #BeatPlasticPollution

Map: Navigate, zoom, and explore all the protected places on our planet with this amazing map.

Background:  Beat plastic pollution! Learn more from the UN here, and take the Plastic Pollution Pledge with Nat Geo here.

Activity: Use our lesson plan to help your class navigate the “perils of plastic.”


Wednesday, June 6

Allied troops land on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.
Photograph by U.S. Govt. Coast Guard, National Geographic

TDIGH 1944: D-Day

The Allied invasion was the largest amphibious assault in history and helped bring about the end of WWII.

Map: Navigate the story of D-Day in five maps.

Background: Browse our outstanding interactive timeline of WWII in Europe to better understand the impact of D-Day.

Activity: Use these lessons to help students understand Operation Overlord—from GI jargon to the weather forecast of the century, to the everyday technology of warfare.


Friday, June 8

The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, including the gorgeous coral gardens above, is the largest U.S. marine reserve. 
Photograph by Kydd Pollock, courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. CC-BY-2.0

TDIGH: World Oceans Day

Since 1992, this day has honored the critical role oceans play and helped raise awareness for ocean conservation.

Map: Navigate our MapMaker Interactive layers on ocean currents, temperature, and chlorophyll, and see how Nat Geo mapmakers map the ocean with our video.

Background: Read through our encyclopedic entry on the ocean. Then learn about the Pristine Seas initiative and see which areas are being protected.

Activity: Use our through unit on marine ecology and conservation to help students understand the impact of human activity on the ocean.


Sunday, June 10

Waitstaff experience the gender and race gap. White men can be paid more than $5 an hour more than women of color.
Photograph by Kris Davidson, National Geographic

TDIGH 1963: Equal Pay Act of 1963

Despite the legislation, women in the U.S. still experience the “gender gap,” defined as the discrepancy in opportunities, status, salary, and attitudes between men and women.

Map: What’s the gender pay gap in your state? Use this interactive map to find out.

Background: Learn more about the gender pay gap and the variables that affect it.

Activity: Use this terrific lesson to help students identify the industries in which women work, their rate of pay and how that pay compares to men’s pay using data from the Department of Labor. Students question whether stereotypical ideas about women contribute to women’s work choices and why women still earn less than men in virtually every industry.

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