College Sixth Formers enjoy insightful trip to Washington DC and New York
In the first week of the Easter holidays, over sixty History students in the Sixth Form from St George's College, Weybridge travelled to Washington DC and New York.
On the first day, the students visited the Supreme Court and met with Congressman John Lewis (pictured below). The only surviving member of the ‘Big Six’ Civil Rights leaders in the 1960s, Congressman Lewis enthralled the students with stories about his upbringing and the events he took part in. It was truly inspirational to learn more about the March on Washington, the Freedom Rides and, of course, the historic Selma march which has been depicted in a recent film.
On another day, the group were given lectures at the Cold War International History Project. Peter Kuznick (co-author of the Untold History of the United States with film maker Oliver Stone) emailed me to say that the “students are terrific”.
The Sixth formers spent the rest of their time in the nations’ capital city visiting museums or walking around the memorials and monuments to help prepare for their A-level modules. They also managed to catch an epic ‘double overtime’ basketball match with their original and very vocal support taking the Washington Wizards to victory!
After an evening bus transfer to New York, the students took the ferry cruise around the Statue of Liberty, visited the 9/11 memorial and St Paul’s chapel before reaching the ‘Top of the Rock’ in the beautiful late afternoon sunshine.
On the next day, the Lower Sixth toured Harlem and visited the Tenement Museum to experience life as an immigrant in the Great Depression, whilst the Upper Sixth took a train to visit the University of Yale and Cold War historian, John Lewis Gaddis. Both sets of students reconvened at Michael Findlay’s (Old Georgian) incredible apartment in Manhattan for an evening drinks reception. Mr Findlay discussed the 1960s, life in America during the Vietnam War as an ‘alien’ in New York and his successful career in the world of art. We were all extremely grateful for his family’s hospitality. On our final day, we toured the United Nations building, went ice skating in Central Park or took the time for some last minute shopping on 5th Avenue.
As always, it was a memorable trip, thank you to the staff for taking the time to help run the week and to the students, who were a real credit to the College. The final word should go to Congressman Lewis’ intern, who emailed this feedback about our group: “I was really blown away by how knowledgeable and engaged your students were. Their questions were incredibly insightful and gave me a lot of hope in future generations of activists!”
20 April 2015