History

  • Founded in 1938 as the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation by a group of Virginia and national leaders, including President Wilson's widow, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson
  • Dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941
  • Visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960
  • Registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1965
  • Accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1976, reaccredited in 1989, 2000, and 2012
  • Expanded by the addition of The Woodrow Wilson Museum in 1990
  • Renamed the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in 2003
  • Expanded with World War I trench exhibit in 2010
  • Opened the new Library and Research Center in Fall 2011

Campus

  • Presbyterian Manse, where President Wilson was born in 1856
  • Museum dedicated to President Wilson's life and times
  • Exhibit Hall featuring Wilson's 1919 Pierce-Arrow presidential limousine
  • President's Shop and Orientation Room
  • Restoration Garden designed and installed by The Garden Club of Virginia
  • Library and Research Center, with one of the nation's largest collection of Wilson materials
  • Smith House Administration Building

Programs

  • Tours of the Manse and Museum year-round for over 20,000 guests annually
  • Education programs for more than 2,000 schoolchildren annually
  • Annual Speaker Series, featuring national historians and scholars
  • Biennial Woodrow Wilson National Symposium for Wilson and Wilson-era scholars worldwide
  • Wilson e-Library, a digital archive of resources for scholars, students, teachers, and the public

Mission

  • To increase awareness and understanding of the life, principles and accomplishments of the 28th President of the United States through the preservation of the Presbyterian Manse where Woodrow Wilson was born, and a museum addressing his life and public service.
  • To ensure that Wilson's ideas and ideals related to public service, governmental responsibility and international engagement play an important role on the American and the world stages.
  • To present to visitors an engaging and educating experience covering Wilson's life context, his accomplishments and his legacy.
  • To be the place to which both scholars and a broad spectrum of interested citizens look to understand how Wilson changed our world and how his ideals continue to do so.

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did you know?


Wilson was president throughout World War I. He attempted to keep America out of the war and even won reelection with the slogan "He kept us out of war." Nonetheless, after the sinking of the Lusitania, continued run-ins with German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, America became involved. with the Lusitania, the continued harassment of American ships by German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram meant that America joined the allies in April, 1917.

Woodrow Wilson was President when the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920 giving women the right to vote.

Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements.

He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "The Constitution was not made to fit us like a straitjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being."

The Seventeenth Amendment was formally adopted on May 31, 1913. Wilson had been president for almost three months at the time. The amendment provided for the direct election of senators. Prior to its adoption, Senators were chosen by state legislatures.

Wilson was the first president to receive a PhD which he got in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He had received his undergraduate degree from the College of New Jersey, renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Woodrow Wilson could not read during the first decade of his life. Though undiagnosed, he may have suffered from a learning disability

Woodrow Wilson was known as "Tommy" until his college years.

Woodrow Wilson during his boyhood, helped establish the "Lightfoot Baseball Club" with his friends. Wilson played second base and was an avid sport fan throughout his adult life.

Woodrow Wilson was the first president to attend the Major League Baseball Fall Classic. He saw the debut of a young 20 year old pitcher by the name of George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

Woodrow Wilson was a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University and the only president to hold an earned doctoral degree.

Woodrow Wilson image is on the $100,000 bill although it is no longer in circulation