Over spring break, upper school history teacher Katy Rees and 12 of her U.S. history students traveled to New York City for a historical trip through the storied metropolis. “It was such fun to see how being in the places where history occurred helped them to connect with what they’d learned and enriched their understanding,” Rees reported.
Among the many highlights of the trip was a visit to an authentic turn-of-the-century tenement building, where an actress portraying a 14-year-old girl talked about the experiences of immigrants during that period. They also visited a food historian, who treated them to a seven-course meal consisting of food made by various immigrant cultures.
Later, the group headed to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to examine several primary source documents, including the report written by Christopher Columbus in 1492 about his trek through the Americas, a copy of the Declaration of Independence and, as Rees put it, “a supremely awkward letter penned by Abraham Lincoln as he tried to brush off an intended fiancee.”
The students participated in a scavenger hunt in Central Park that taught many interesting facts about the park and its landmarks, and received guided tours of the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and lower Manhattan.
The highlight of the trip for many was attending the Broadway musical “Hamilton.” “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the original cast perform in what was most definitely not an overhyped event,” Rees said.