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Support Woodrow Wilson's Legacy

As a private foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum relies on the vital support of private individuals to achieve its mission of educating students, teachers, scholars, and visitors from around the world about President Wilson, his legacy, and his times.

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Wilson was president throughout World War I. He sought a neutral position for the United States and even won reelection with the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Nonetheless, actions by the Central Powers (notably Germany) threatened this neutrality. Following years of attacks on American shipping and citizens on the high seas, particularly the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, public opinion began to turn. The final straw came with the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, forcing the United States to declare war on the Central Powers in April of 1917, joining the war on the side of the UK, Russia, and France.

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

Digital Library


Explore our Digital library through accessing a specific collection,

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Items in the digital library include correspondence to and from Wilson, diary entries by Dr. Grayson about Wilson’s travels, newspaper columns and magazine articles by and about Wilson, and speeches.

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Upcoming Events & News

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12/7/2016

“Last Friday, CEO Robin von Seldeneck, along with Board Chair Katherine Grayson Wilkins, Education Chair Bryan LeBeau, and WWPL Advisor Ed Lengel visited the Library of Congress to meet with Library of Congress staff about upcoming Wilson projects. During the visit, the group was able to tour the Manuscript Division, which houses all the Presidential papers, and review the Wilson papers collection.”

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12/6/2016

Soon after Woodrow Wilson was elected President, A. C. Gordon and Peyton Cochran of Staunton were dispatched to Princeton with an invitation for the president-elect to visit Staunton and his birthplace.  The two representatives telegraphed an affirmative reply from Wilson and Staunton began to prepare to greet her most famous native son.  A view of Staunton facing west from the intersection of New and Beverley Streets prior to Woodrow Wilson’s visit to the city on his birthday December 28, 1912. Join us at the WWPL Wednesday December 28th from 11-3 as we celebrate the 160th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s birth.  Photo courtesy of the WWPL.

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