Day In History: October 1-8 Free Resources

The Watergate Scandal, Gandhi, Berlin Wall, Henrietta Lacks, Steve Jobs, The Cuban Missile Crisis and Bomb Shelters, Edgar Allan Poe, Department of Homeland Security

Sharing these days in history will develop background knowledge and stimulate interest in a variety of topics. Share what happened each day in history and use the free online resources to enhance your lessons. A free calendar for October events can be found here.

October 1: Watergate Scandal

The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal of the 1970s. October 1, 1974, five aides of President Nixon go on trial for conspiring to cover up the Watergate break-in.

Time magazine devoted extensive issues to the Watergate Scandal. Check out the Time covers. Click on the topics at the top to see multiple types of resource (articles, audio files, images, and videos).

October 2: Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Indian activist, led nonviolent protests against British rule. Gandhi was born October 2, 1869

The Gandhi Foundation created a powerpoint Gandhi-A Life in Pictures. The free download is a good source for classrooms.

October 3: Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. The official German reunification process occurred October 3, 1990, and is known as German Unity Day.

NEA (National Education Association) provides multiple lesson plans centered around the Berlin Wall. They are entitled The Origins of the Cold War, 1945-1949, Making the History of 1989: The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, From Concrete to Memory: Scrapbooking the Berlin Wall, and Art and the Berlin Wall. All these are designed for grades 9-12. In addition there are links to multimedia, images, interactives, aeriai photographs, a test yourself quiz, and videos. There are many resources to make your lesson come to life.

October 4: Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman’s cancer cells have been some of the most important cells in medical research. Henrietta Lacks died on October 4, 1951, yet her controversial cells continue to be important today.

The Henrietta Lacks diagnosis began at John Hopkins Hospital, and John Hopkins has an informative webpage which includes a video, Honoring Henrietta Lacks: Her Impact and Our Outreach. Also, if you haven’t read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, it is highly recommended.

October 5: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple computer, died October 5, 2011.

Stanford University shares Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech. A transcript of the speech is also available.

October 6: Cuban Missile Crisis and Bomb Shelters

October 6, 1961, President John F. Kennedy urged Americans to build bomb shelters to protect themselves from atomic fallout in the event of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of the Harvard Kennedy School, designed a lesson plan to aid teachers as they teach the context of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It includes a simulation role-playing experience where students assume the part of members of the Kennedy Administration. Resources are provided from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The New York Times.

If you focus is on Nuclear Fallout and Bomb Shelters, has information about the Cold War, a historic pamphlet, “Facts about Fallout,” and photos of a fallout shelter.

October 7: Edgar Allan Poe

October 7, 1849, editor and author of the mysterious and bizarre, Edgar Allan Poe, died. 

This TED-Ed refresher talks about the early life, short stories, “The Raven” and the death of Poe. If you are studying “The Raven” this interactive website takes a look at literary devices and vocabulary. It’s a great hit around Halloween!

October 8: Department of Homeland Security

October 8, 2001, President Bush announces establishment of the Department of Homeland Security.

Frontline has a series called Are We Safer? It talks about the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and whether or not it has made the lives of Americans safer. Teacher’s guides are available. Videos are available on Frontline.

The Watergate Scandal


Berlin Wall

Henrietta Lacks

Steve Jobs

Bomb Shelters/Cuban Missile Crisis

Edgar Allan Poe

Homeland Security