I’ll admit it, I’m a geek. I love data and Facts on File World News Digest provides me with mounds of data. By the time you read this, the 2012 London Olympics will be in the history books – or in the World News Digest chronological timeline which gives you such data as the number of visitors – from 380,000 in 1896 (not too shabby) to 6.5 million in Beijing. I could calculate the increase but you can tell it was a big increase. It also tells you how many countries participated – from 14 at the Athens olympics in 1896 to 204 in Beijing. The feminist in me wanted to see what percentage of the athletes were women. The change is astounding. In 1896, the first modern olympiad, there were only 241 athletes – none of them were women. In 2008 there were 10,946 athletes and 42% were women. For the US, title 9 changed everything for women’s sports. I wonder if that has spurred other countries to change their funding mechanisms too so that they can be competitive with the U.S. women.
But this is a scintilla of the information available. There is a searchable encyclopedia and almanc and then in depth articles and information on elections. The curriculum tools will help you choose a subject for a paper and then provide timelines to use to follow your topic. The research topics go from Abortion to Supreme Court nominations.
There are country profiles, too. And the information goes back to the 1940’s.