Life in the trenches during the First World War has become an enduring topic.  Undoubtedly, it was an entirely unexpected experience for those eager American lads who signed up for the war in April 1917. What was life actually like for the men serving tours of duty in the line, be they front line, support or reserve?  In the fourth of the “White Glove Access” programs presented by the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, the Library’s curator and archivist will attempt to answer that question by taking a closer look at 'Life in the Trenches, A Soldiers Life in the Great War". This program offered by the Wilson Library allows visitors a behind the scenes look at collections and archives which have previously been unavailable to the public. Open to the public this program will be held at the Library and Research Center of the Woodrow Wilson Library located at 253 East Beverley St. on Wednesday evening April 9th at 7 pm.  Join the Library staff as they explore the uniforms, weapons, and artifacts from their extensive collection as they depict the life of an everyday soldier during World War I.   Light refreshments will be provided.  Reservations are suggested as space is limited.  The cost for the program is $5.00 for League of Friends Members or $10.00 for Non-members.  For additional information or reservations contact Andrew Phillips at or call 540-885-0897 ext. 111.


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