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Home > News and views > ‘It was an incredibly exciting time’

‘It was an incredibly exciting time’

Just over 100 years since the foundation of our US debate tour, we catch up with alumnus James Parker to hear about his experience 50 years ago, in 1973

Cast your minds back, if you can, to the autumn of 1973. On 6 October, Egyptian and Syrian forces invade Israel with a surprise attack on The Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. On 10 October, Spiro Agnew, Vice-President of the United States, resigns, pleading no contest to charges of tax evasion. And the Watergate scandal, which has gripped the US for over a year now, is reaching fever pitch with the ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ of 20 October in which two attorney generals resign rather than follow President Nixon’s orders to fire Archibald Cox, Special Prosecutor in the ongoing trial.

It was into this political and media landscape that James Parker and his debate partner Daniel Hardy, both recent graduates of the University of Kent at Canterbury, arrived when their TWA flight from London touched down at New York’s JFK airport on Sunday, 7 October. Read the full story on our ESU members’ hub – or find out about the many benefits of becoming a member here.


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