Lessons from American history | Lecture series commemorates WWI centenary

By CHARLES DIAZ, Ranger Reporter:

World War I. The Great War. The Forgotten War.

In its 34th lecture, the Creative Mind Lecture Series hosted by Amarillo College commemorates 100 years since America entered into what people once described as “The War to End All Wars.”

The 2017 Lecture Series began Jan. 19 and continued until Feb. 2, hosting Dr Bruce Brasington, Dr. Bonnie Roos and Dr. Byron Pearson, all professors from West Texas A&M University.

“The free lectures really try to provide topics that will not only interest people,” said Kristen Edford, program coordinator and humanities professor at Amarillo College, “but will excite, enhance and expand the lives of those who attend.”

Audiences describe this year’s lecture series on World War I as a “timely” topic. “WWI is one of humankind’s great follies,” Dr. Brian Farmer, social sciences professor, said. “It did not have to happen…The American entry didn’t have to happen either.”

Humanities Professor Dr. Richard DeVoe agreed with Farmer. “The various topics were provocative…that’s the beauty and compelling thing about the Creative Mind Series. Right out of the box, Dr. Bruce Brasington from WT engaged the audience with the question: ‘Should America have entered World War I?’ His opinion and my opinion…is absolutely not!’”

DeVoe said people need to know about the first world war. “Without a sense of history, we as Americans cannot know who we are unless we know what and who we have come from.”

DeVoe explained that the first world war brought about major changes in the American government’s involvement in domestic and foreign policy, women’s rights and immigration.

“If you don’t understand the past, I think you’re more likely to make the same mistakes the people in the past made,” Farmer said. “We should learn from them, you know.”

Edford said that the lecture series was founded by the late Carol Nicklaus as a “thank you” to the community by providing free lectures on topics of interest. Each year, a different topic takes center stage.

“I think it’s a great lecture series,” Larry Adams, social sciences professor, said. “It has some great topics for this year being the 100th anniversary of us going to war…it’s good to look back on that.”

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