London, America and Grosvenor Square, 1968

London, America and Grosvenor Square, 1968

Joe Biden’s slow motion vanquishing of Donald Trump has had many fellow Londoners glued to CNN, willing the veteran Democrat on. This city cared little for Trump. The launching of a blimp in his dishonour in 2018, portraying him as a man of infantile petulance, summed up Londoners’ view of him – a recent poll found us to be among the most anti-Trump people in the country. And it is not the first time the capital has been a hotspot of hostility to White House regimes.

Until recently, the US Embassy was a mighty edifice filling the west side of Grosvenor Square. On 17 March 1968, it attracted a large demonstration against the Vietnam War, complete with Mick Jagger, Vanessa Redgrave, Tariq Ali and violent clashes between demonstrators and police. Here’s some (misdated) newsreel coverage:

There’s also a World in Action documentary available about that day, featuring chaps from the Monday Club. Lots of gripping London footage in there too. The US Embassy is now in a new building in Nine Elms. Meanwhile, CNN reports the sale of the top floor of 1 Grosvenor Square, where the Embassy was before it moved to its more famous spot in 1960. It features a replica of the Oval Office.

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Categories: Culture

1 Comment

  1. Rosemary Waxman says:

    The US Embassy in Grosvenor Square was their only leasehold Embassy site in the world. The Grosvenor’s (Duke of Westminster’s family) which owned the site, refused to sell the freehold to the USA. The US Government put pressure on the British Government to acquire the freehold, but the Grosvenor’s would not budge. This is one of the reasons why the US Embassy moved to Nine Elms. I think also that the lease was coming up for renewal

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