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In the footsteps of Washington to Trump: walking in the paths of Presidents.  

In February half term 18 pupils and 4 members of staff from Didcot Sixth Form embarked on a journey from Trump Tower in New York City to the White House in Washington DC. Year 13 pupils studying Government and Politics, Business Studies and History experienced the hustle and bustle of daily life in Trump’s new America. Business students were treated to a guided tour of Wall Street from a financial expert and an insider look into the business workings of Macy’s department store. Politics and History students travelled uptown to Harlem for a guided Civil Rights history tour that included The Apollo Theatre, Malcolm X’s mosque, the Headquarters of the Clinton Foundation as well as a chance to feed our souls with true American soul food!
 
In spite of the overwhelming amount of Trump’s Make America Great Again merchandise and propaganda, the students witnessed anti-Trump protests in both New York and Washington DC; one organised by the pressure group ‘Gays against Guns’ and the other wishing to ‘Dump Trump.’

Upon arrival in Washington DC, staying opposite to the new Trump International Hotel, we spent two days visiting the national memorials of America’s past presidents and international conflicts, including the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Access to the White House, Capitol Building and Supreme Court was limited following the recent inauguration ceremony but the students still witnessed these powerful and iconic buildings. We were in DC for the announcement of the resignation of Trump’s National Security advisor, Mike Flynn. There was a definite sense of unease in the air as the Trump administration sought to make a swift replacement. There was a noticeable increased police and Secret Service presence in New York and Washington DC compared to our visit last year and the transformation of the White House Gift Shop was staggering – Trump really is everywhere!
 
Staff and students had a brilliant time in both New York and Washington DC immersing themselves in the atmosphere and culture of modern America. The trip ended with a poignant visit to Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to witness the changing of the guard and the Last Post. This offered a chance to reflect upon our trip, America’s past and to think about the unfolding America of the new Trump era.
 
Miss Laura-May Tilling, Government and Politics teacher and visit leader.
 
Staff who attended the trip:
Ms Cunnington, Miss Hanna and Mr Rees.
 
Photos on the left:
7675 – Encouraging safe dealings with the police in Harlem
7668 – Soul food café and Civil Rights tour in Harlem
7769 – On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC
7771 – At the sport of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech overlooking the Washington Monument, DC
7824 – Group at the White House
7832 – Trump hats
7884 – Group at the Capitol Building

 


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