Egads! Are you sure your memory isn't fuzzy and you're actually remembering grade school?
When I was in H.S., we were expected to already know locations throughout the world in just plain-jane, regular ol' History class. Of course, that was more than 15 years ago...no need to go into how much more. Oh, we also had to walk 5 miles to school in 6 feet of snow...uphill both ways.
Seriously, though, we also had a Geography class that was separate from History, and I don't think most schools do anymore. It taught things like world capitols and the identities of various ethnicities in various countries, languages spoken, primary industries, economies, how the borders took shape, and so on. It may sound like a yawn to some, but I liked it.
The recent lack of it explains "Jay-Walking" answers on the Leno show, tho...
That's probably true ... though my kids' high school does have Geography as a freshman requirement. I think it's a good idea, especially as a 9th-grade fundamental so that they will have the foundation before studying World Civ and all that.
On the other hand, maybe a lot of high schools still do. It's shocking to read the course catalog these days ... it's like my college catalog, so many options. We had 5 AP classes: Calc, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English, and US History. Oops, that's six (I dropped out of Calc, can you tell). Now they have six in the Social Studies department alone.