The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library’s ongoing commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I continues with the lecture series “America Joins the Fight: The U.S. Enters World War I.” The topics to be discussed were selected specifically for their particular interest to the general public. The lecture series opens Sunday, January 22nd at 2:00 p.m. as museum curator, Andrew Phillips discusses America’s attempt to stay neutral amidst the provocations which eventually led to war. The series continues Monday, February 20th, Presidents Day, at 2:00 p.m. as WWPL CEO, Robin von Seldeneck, examines Wilson’s role in neutrality efforts and the lead up toward American involvement in the war. On Sunday, March 12th at 2:00 educators, Heather Sutton and Susan Laser explore the uniforms, weapons, and artifacts from their extensive collection as they depict the life of an everyday soldier during World War I as well as the preparations for war on the home front. The lecture series concludes Thursday evening April 6th and Saturday April 7th with the symposium “America Joins the Fight.”

All four events in the lecture series are free and open to the public and will take place in the Library and Research Center of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library located at 235 East Beverley St. Staunton, VA. Those interested in receiving more information about the lecture series should contact Bob Robinson at or call (540) 885-0897 ext. 102.


did you know?

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