On November 9, 2010, three Messiah College history classes (History of the Middle East, U.S. Urban History, and Age of American Revolution) took a joint field trip to New York City. I have asked some of our students who took the trip to reflect on their experiences. Below is a reflection on the day by history major Matt Herring. Thanks for reading! –JF
On November 9th many history students rose before 7:00 A.M to travel to New York City to visit various places. Being in Dr. Fea’s “America in the Age of the Revolution” class, myself and nine other students toured Revolutionary-era sights. These sights included St. Paul’s Church, Federal Hall, Trinity Church, and Murray’s Wharf. We also stopped at a few other spots along the way, and we attempted to tour the Fraunces Tavern Museum, built in 1719.
I found the visit to St. Paul’s Church to be the most rewarding because it integrated both the past and the present. The church is the oldest church building in New York City, having been built in 1766, but it also is a memorial to the victims of 9/11. Although seeing the pew that George Washington worshiped in was fascinating, being able to see the actual notes written by children to encourage the families of 9/11 victims was emotionally tangible. While this part of the experience was very easy to relate to, other parts of the trip required us to use our imagination. Due to the magnitude of skyscrapers and buildings in the city, our group was forced to imagine what 18th century life was like for the inhabitants of New York City. Fortunately, our imaginations enabled us to envision a “liberty pole”, a statue of King George, and even the Battle of Golden Hill.
Overall, it was a rewarding experience that concluded with authentic Italian pizza at Lombardi’s Pizza and a well-deserved cannoli for dessert. The experience in Little Italy was awesome, although the staff at Lombardi’s was probably somewhat worried when Dr. Fea started impersonating Phil Davison.