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Home / News / History Students go to Washington

History Students go to Washington

A group of Xaverian History students were fortunate to travel to Washington DC. recently, student Hattie Midgeley-Stevens gives us her account of the trip:

“5:55am on Monday 16th November, Xaverian students dragged themselves into Manchester airport imagining the excitement of landing into Washington D.C. in 8 hours’ time. But it was 5:55 in the morning, so let’s keep it real. We forced a smile for a photo at Heathrow, and before we knew it, we were stepping off the plane into Dulles international Airport.

Our short but jet lagged first night started off with one of the most interesting talks of the trip from Ches – our coach host who answered all our initial questions about America and its history. Day 2 involved a lot of walking – from an early informative trip around the US capitol that helped us understand US history to the most powerful journey around the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Here we went back in time to discover stories through slavery, the civil rights movement and the changing cultural expression of African Americans. After that, we split off to explore other Smithsonian Museums (e.g. the Museum of Natural History, or American History) or for some, shopping malls. These museums helped consolidate our A Level knowledge, and further it as well. At night we explored the other side of Washington into the main streets with shops, fast food restaurants, cafés – basically everything American. After time and money well spent, we headed to the White House where Trump had just returned from his trip to France. Many photos were taken.

Our last full day was one of mixed emotions as it started off with a tour of some of the many memorials in D.C. We were lucky enough to visit the World War 2, Vietnam and Korean War memorials, as well as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. Each one affected people for different reasons. Seeing the contrast in the war memorials was very touching and the most moving one for me was the Vietnam memorial, seeing the 58,318 names of those missing or killed inscribed on the wall. We saw the Lincoln Memorial and the reflecting Pool, as well as the spot where Martin Luther King delivered his most famous speech – “I have a Dream”. Many photos were taken.

That night we got to experience a proper US Basketball match between the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers – successful win for our hometown. The night was thoroughly enjoyed especially by those who had completely no idea what was going on and clearly had no idea how to act properly at a basketball game.

On our last day we woke up to snow falling down on the capital city. There were long, cold walks (and impromptu taxi rides) to the Newseum (museum of news) and the Supreme Court. The Newseum was exceedingly interesting as we saw exhibitions about 9/11, The Civil Rights Movement and the Berlin Wall gallery. As well as the “First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Pets”. The Supreme Court was a quick trip to see the museum inside which was full of history of the court and its work and the justices. After that we were headed to the airport, and shortly on a delayed plane back to London where we boarded for home. All in all, a ten out of ten trip!

Big thanks to Miss Lawrence, Miss Flanagan and Mr Smith for providing the trip with even more laughs and facts!”

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