STAUNTON - The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum will be hosting a conversation with Dr. Thomas J. Knock, author and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor at Southern Methodist University as he explores the legacy of Woodrow Wilson Thursday evening March 10th from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. The event, to take place at the Library and Research Center on the campus of the WWPL is free and open to the public.

Thomas J. Knock, a member of the WWPL Board of Trustees, received his PhD from Princeton in 1982 and has submitted commentary to the Princeton University Board of Trustees as they review how Woodrow Wilson is to be remembered on the Princeton campus. He was for two years a part time research assistant on The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, edited by Arthur S. Link. Along with numerous scholarly articles on various aspects of Wilson’s Presidency, he has written a book on Wilson and the League of Nations, To End all Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order, and has coauthored a briefer volume on Wilsonianism with John Ikenberry, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Tony Smith. Dr. Knock has also written about the history of American politics in the twentieth century, with an emphasis on liberal reform. He currently teaches courses at SMU that deal mainly with the history of American politics and foreign policy.

Those interested in more information about this event should contact Bob Robinson, Manager of Marketing at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library at (540) 885-0897, ext. 102, or by e-mail at

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