'Special relationship': how a century of US presidential visits tells the temperature | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

'Special relationship': how a century of US presidential visits tells the temperature

Tens of thousands crammed central London’s streets. The roar of cheers was as deafening as the flypast. “We want Wilson,” chanted the crowd, packed tightly beneath a “brilliant mass of flags” stretching from Charing Cross to Buckingham Palace, the Guardian reported at the time.

In 100 years of US presidential visits, since Woodrow Wilson became the first Oval Office incumbent to visit the UK , the so-called “special relationship” has waxed and waned. And the warmth of Britain’s welcome has served as a telling gauge.

Wilson – carriage-borne in postwar jubilation along a Mall lined by 20,000 soldiers, their “bayonets bright in the December sunshine” – arrived on Boxing Day 1918 for his two-day visit and would be feted in London, Manchester and Carlisle.

One century on, and Donald Trump would also attract tens of thousand to the streets; a seething crowd united in protest beneath a huge orange baby blimp.

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