Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Flag Day at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Tuesday, June 14th at 12:00 pm as Museum Curator Andrew Phillips examines the United Sates entry into World War I. Why did it take so long for the United States to enter the war? Was Woodrow Wilson a pacifist? Join Andrew in the Education Parlor of the Dolores Lescure Center to learn the answers to these and other question and travel the thorny road that was American neutrality. The presentation is free and open to the public. In addition, the WWPL will be handing out American flags free to guests on Flag Day.

President Woodrow Wilson established Flag Day with a Proclamation on May 30, 1916. Wilson’s Proclamation began "I, therefore, suggest and request that throughout the nation, and if possible in every community, the 14th day of June be observed as Flag Day with special patriotic exercises, at which means shall be taken to give significant expression to our thoughtful love of America, our comprehension of the great mission of liberty and justice to which we have devoted ourselves as a people, our pride in the history and our enthusiasm for the political program of the nation, our determination to make it greater and purer with each generation, and our resolution to demonstrate to all the world its vital union in sentiment and purpose, accepting only those as true compatriots who feel as we do the compulsion of this supreme allegiance."

Communities across the nation began celebrating Flag Day on June 14, 1916, and for years to come. In addition to his Flag Day proclamation, President Wilson gave two major speeches about Flag Day. On June 14, 1915, the year before the proclamation, he gave an address honoring the flag. The next year, on June 14, 1916, one month after his proclamation, he gave another Flag Day address describing the proclamation and urging Americans to honor the flag. Wilson also led the Flag Day parade in Washington D.C. on that first Flag Day.

The idea for Flag Day actually originated in 1885, when a Wisconsin public school teacher decided that his students should celebrate June 14 as “Flag Birthday.” That day marked the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of the Stars and Stripes in 1777. In 1949, 33 years after President Wilson’s proclamation, President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress officially designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

Those interested in more information about Flag Day or visiting the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum should contact the Presidential Library at (540) 885-0897, ext. 100.

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Wilson was president throughout World War I. He attempted to keep America out of the war and even won reelection with the slogan "He kept us out of war." Nonetheless, after the sinking of the Lusitania, continued run-ins with German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, America became involved. with the Lusitania, the continued harassment of American ships by German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram meant that America joined the allies in April, 1917.

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