World War I
The centennial of the outbreak of World War I will be upon us next year. The last veteran of that conflict has passed away, but that doesn't mean that this conflict didn't deeply affect the world - there are many places where its impact is still felt.
Sometimes, the impact is on our political systems. Think the NSA surveillance program is something new? You should see what the American Protective League was doing during the war.
Want to know why the Middle East is always a bit of a mess? You can track that back to World War I, and use it as a lesson to never promise two groups of people the same thing at the same time.
Lastly, there is still quite a bit of junk laying around from the war. By some estimates, one out of every four artillery shells fired back then was a dud. Think that means they're completely harmless? Whoa, no. France has special bomb squads, called the demineur, who are cleaning up artillery shells fired a hundred years ago. They're still deadly - meaning that a shell your great-great-grandfather fired can kill you today if you walk off the wrong beaten path in the wrong part of France. The worst part? There's enough of the shells so that the demineur and their descendents will have plenty of work to do for at least the next thousand years.
Steven Spielberg hasn't made a World War I movie. There is no Call of Duty: Flanders Fields (you'd probably get killed in the first twenty seconds if there was one). It killed millions of people, but doesn't get nearly as much attention as the Second World War. This class is intended to help try to close that gap.