Day In History: October 17-24 Free Resources

Mother Teresa, The Alaska Purchase, Yorktown, Calico Jack, Florence Nightingale, Ringling Brothers, New Orleans Mint, Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression

Teachers are so busy and Reading Specialty is here to help! Developing background information is critical to help our students comprehend. Use our Day In History events to talk about important topics which well help your students develop cultural literacy. Display an event for each day in history and use the free online resources to enrich your lesson. If you need more resources, check out the differentiated reading comprehension passages and comprehension questions at the bottom of this blog post.

October 17– Mother Teresa of Calcutta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work.

The website of provides many resources for the classroom. The website is available in multiple languages. It contains an interview with Mother Teresa, a 360 video of her tomb, video and audio recordings, articles about Mother Teresa, and a photo gallery.

October 18–The Alaska Purchase was finalized with the US buying Alaska from Russia.

This lesson gives students an opportunity to use primary sources to examine the Russian and American reasons for supporting the sale. Common core standards are included.

October 19–The Americans and French defeated the British at Yorktown in the American Revolution.

A primary source document, Excerpts from the Diary of Johann Conrad Dohla, lets students look at the American Revolution from the point of view of a soldier sent to America.

October 20–Jack Rackham (Calico Jack) is arrested for piracy.

A very short but informative video on Calico Jack narrated by Ruth Battersby Tooke, Curator of Costume and Textiles can be found here. It is a fact-filled video which lasts less than 2 minutes but gives students an interesting introduction.

October 21–Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, departed for Crimea.

Click here to be directed to a 3 minute biographical video to introduce your students to Florence Nightingale.

October 22–Ringling Brothers purchased Barnum Bailey Circus.

Click here to find information about the Barnum and Bailey Circus from 1841-1919. It includes images which help to bring the circus to life. To view information about the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus after the merger, click here.

A short video previewing the Final Farewell performance can be found here.

October 23–The New Orleans mint officially reopened their doors on October 23, 1876 as a US Assay Office.

The us site gives information about the history of the mints. The website includes multiple short videos, including an introductory video explaining what the mint does, feature videos of 1940 footage from the US National Archives.

October 24–This was the beginning of the stock market crash which started the Great Depression.

While searching online, I came across a resource published on the website of the The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) Stock Market Crash of 1929 Simulation. It divides students into 5 groups (non-wealthy investors, wealthy investors, stock brokers, bankers, and advisors to the president). Students track investments and confidence in the US government and economy during the first days of the initial stock market crash.

A quick video by C-Span (1 minute) explains the days preceding the stock market crash and is a good quick overview.

Click on the topic below to be redirected to a differentiated passage on each of the above topics.

Mother Teresa

Alaska Purchase

Surrender at Yorktown

Calico Jack

Florence Nightingale

Ringling Brothers Circus

New Orleans Mint

Black Thursday and the Great Depression