The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced that foreign policy expert Walter Russell Mead will keynote the 2010 Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Symposium, with a luncheon address, “Wilsonian Foreign Policy:  Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” on Thursday, April 15, at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in Staunton.  Mr. Mead, the Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, is one of the country’s leading students of American foreign policy.  The conference, “World of Power/World of Law:  Wilsonianism and Other Visions of Foreign Policy,” will be held on April 15-16, at the Presidential Library.  The seminar, which is sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, will be the fifth national symposium the Presidential Library has held since the program’s inception in 2000.   

At the symposium, the Presidential Library will convene scholars from around the nation to examine the life, times, and ideas of Woodrow Wilson for two days of panel presentations, dialogue, and debate.  Participants from around the country include scholars from Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Vermont, Niagra University in New York, Presbyterian College in South Carolina, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Kansas.  Participants from Virginia include scholars from James Madison University, Washington and Lee University, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and Blue Ridge Community College.  

Walter Russell Mead has written several books, including God and Gold:  Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World and Special Providence:  American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World, which received the Lionel Gelber Award for the best book in English on international relations in 2002.  Mr. Mead writes regularly on international affairs for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, New Yorker, Atlantic, Harper’s, and Esquire.  He lives in Jackson Heights, New York.  

Those interested in more information about the symposium should contact Joel Hodson, Director of Education at the WWPL, at, or at (540) 885-0897, ext. 103.


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