Day In History: September 1-7 Free Resources

Titanic, V-J Day, Frederick Douglas, Little Rock Desegregation, Voyager I, Princess Diana, Panama Canal


As a classroom teacher at the high school level working with struggling readers, I found many of them were missing BASIC background information. Discussing current events or events which had occurred in history helped my students fill this enormous gap.

As I started my TPT store, I wanted something that served three basic purposes:

  1. Develop student background knowledge.
  2. Provide nonfiction reading at a variety of levels, but with everyone receiving the same basic information. The What Happened in History passages are each based on an event which occurred on the particular calendar day in history, but they are free-standing and able to be used any day. The first passage is always written at a 9-10 grade reading level, the second passage at a grade 8 reading level and the third passage at a grade 6-7 reading level. These levels are determined by multiple readability formulas.
  3. Collect data in a meaningful way. I worked with many IEP students. I was constantly being asked for data. I could provide information such as a student needed to work on inferencing, but the data often was difficult to interpret. They were missing inferencing questions when reading passages of what grade level? Student A missed 3 inferencing questions and Student B missed 2–but were all students given the same number of questions on some of the computer programs? No. Interpreting data in an EASY format with STUDENT PARTICIPATION in that process was an important focus for me.

My Day in History passages were born. Yes, I would love it if you would visit my store and consider purchasing them, click here, but if you have already purchased or want additional free resources to supplement your passages, this blog is for you. If you do not wish to purchase the passages, I still highly recommend you have a THIS DAY IN HISTORY corner on your board and post something that happened each day. Use the event to discuss in your class and develop background knowledge, or as an enrichment opportunity for students to research as they complete work. A free calendar for the month of September with the events I used for my passages (along with suggestions for use) can be downloaded from my TPT store. For your free September Day In History calendar, click here.

And now–for the free online resources I have found for September 1-7 to correspond with the calendar events in my resources:

Disclaimer: Please check out the resources yourself before using with your students.

September 1: The Titanic

Boilers of the Titanic which were discovered September 1, 1985. of the Titanic Tragedy. weblink to many educationally approved sites and lesson plans.

September 2: V-J Day

September 2 was declared to be V-J day by President Truman at the end of World War II.

The National WWII Museum; New Orleans This website provides free access to lesson plans and multimedia resources from the National WWII Museum. A search bar allows the teacher to search by subject and media (audio recordings, articles, lesson plans, pictures, videos, maps, oral histories, etc).

September 3: Frederick Douglas

Frederick Douglass began his escape from slavery September 3, 1838.

The Library of Congress Research Guides There’s a whole lot of information available on Frederick Douglas! Get copies of speeches, stories (elementary and middle school), newspaper articles, prints and photographs, lesson plans, and links to external websites focusing on Frederick Douglas.

September 4: Little Rock Desegregation

September 4, 1957, African American students attempted to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Video This short video (approx 2 1/2 minutes) provides a factual introduction to the Little Rock Desegregation event.

September 5: Voyager I

September 5, 1977 the Voyager I space probe was launched.

NASA Real time data shows how far away Voyager I is currently from the Earth and from the Sun. Free posters are available for download. There is an overview of the mission and a gallery of related photos. On board the probe is an audio-visual disc in case the spacecraft is found by another intelligent life form. You can listen to the sounds and see the images on this “golden record.” There are additional videos from the scientists and engineers who worked on this project.

September 6: Princess Diana

Funeral services for Princess Diana were held on September 6, 1997 at Westminster Abbey.

USA Today This USA Today article contains an interactive timeline which covers from her childhood to her untimely death. There is also a short video about Princess Diana.

September 7: Panama Canal

The Panama Canal Treaty was signed by President Jimmy Carter on September 7, 1977.

Live Webcam View a live webcam through this site by the Panama Canal Authority.


Check out the corresponding resources from my store!

Click on any of the links below to go directly to the differentiated reading passages available from Reading Specialty at TPT.


V-J–this is a free passage

Frederick Douglas

Little Rock Desegregation

Voyager I

Princess Diana

Panama Canal