Government & Politics Trip to Washington D.C.

In early January a combined group of Upper and Lower Sixth students travelled to Washington D.C. Our first visit was to Congress; our tour began in the crypt of the Capitol building and included visits to both the Senate and House of Representatives chambers as well as the beautiful room underneath the huge dome. This room is painted with a series of allegorical paintings representing key moments in US history. We then crossed the road to visit the US Supreme Court, the setting of some momentous Court decisions including Brown v Board of Education which led to the end of segregated schooling and the more recent 2022 Dobbs v Jackson which struck down Roe v Wade and has had a profound effect on abortion provision. We rounded the day off with a visit to a local pizzeria to celebrate Kareena’s birthday.

The next morning was spent in the four-storey Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture which tells the story of African Americans from slavery to Civil Rights in the 1950s and 60s and included the more recent Black Lives Matter protests. It was fascinating to see the segregated rail carriages and lunch counters from the Southern States. We then walked to the National Archives to look at original copies of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. In the evening we visited Georgetown and the cinema and ate gigantic portions of popcorn whilst watching Anyone But You – a romcom based on Measure for Measure.

On our last day, we walked around the city and visited some of the most iconic museums and monuments. We started with the Holocaust Museum, bringing to life the story of those who lost their lives under the Nazi regime in a poignant and thought-provoking series of artefacts and displays, including walking on cobbles taken from the Warsaw ghetto and seeing piles of shoes and human hair stolen from victims before they were killed.

Later, we visited the haunting and striking memorials to the Korean and Vietnam Wars, where we saw the ‘ghosts’ of fallen soldiers, and took time to consider the impact left by acts of violence on a country. Next, we visited the Lincoln Memorial where we learned some interesting facts about Lincoln himself (he predicted his own assassination) and we were able to gaze down the mall towards the Washington Monument and the Congress building.

Thank you to Mr Sykes and Miss Hussey for a brilliant trip.

Where next?