Geography Awareness Week stresses the importance of local and global geography. It is sponsored by the Geography Education Program of the National Geographic Society. Held during the third week in November since 1987, this year’s week runs from November 15 to November 21. One easy but very informative activity is the Global Closet Calculator, where children locate the origin of their clothing and shoes. This year’s theme is “Igniting the Spirit of Exploration.”
Japan celebrates Shichi-Go-San. The day translates as “Seven-Five-Three.” Parents take their seven-year-old girls, five-year-old boys, and three-year-olds of either sex to the temples. They thank the guardian spirits for protecting the children and keeping them healthy.
Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason started to survey the Mason-Dixon Line in 1763. This line marked the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. They finished their work on December 26, 1767. Originally their work was to settle a very contentious land dispute between the Penn family (Pennsylvania) and the Calvert family (Maryland). Later, as the Civil War approached, the line somewhat divided the country into the north and the south.
Zebulon Pike recorded seeing Pikes Peak in Colorado in 1806. The mountain, with an elevation of 14,115 feet, is a National Historic Landmark. Katharine Lee Bates wrote “America the Beautiful” after visiting the peak.
William Herschel (born Hanover, Germany, 1738; died Slough, England, August 25, 1822) was an astronomer. He discovered Uranus in 1781 and found that it rotated in a direction different from the directions of other planets. He was also active in star astronomy, and he discovered infrared radiation.
Georgia O’Keefe (born Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, 1887; died Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 6, 1986) was an artist. Her works featured nature, and she often painted objects as if she was looking at something under a magnifying glass. She was married to the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. You can see her home, examine her art materials, and view great online exhibits at: Georgia O’Keefe.
Daniel Pinkwater (born Memphis, Tennessee, 1941) is a children’s author and illustrator. He has published at least 100 books, and one of his latest books is Mrs. Noodlekugel. Children can visit his website where you can hear him read several of his books: Daniel Pinkwater.