The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced that it will host a class of 22 students from Southern Virginia University (SVU) for a half-day workshop about public history on Thursday, January 28.  The students are in Dr. Lora Knight’s historical methods course at SVU, which is in Buena Vista.  The students are interested is seeing and using primary resources in research, hearing about the Presidential Library’s internship program, and exploring careers in public history.   

The program will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  At 9:45 a.m., Director of Education Joel Hodson and Museum Educator Ellen Abernethy will discuss Public History and how history is taught at the Presidential Library and other museums and historic sites.  At 10:40 a.m., Director of Library and Archives Peggy Dillard will discuss the Presidential Library’s digital archive and the use of primary documents.  At 11:30 a.m., Curator Jarod Kearney will give the teachers a behind the scenes tour of the soon-to-be-completed World War I exhibit being constructed in the Museum.  Lead Interpreter Linda MacNeil will give the teachers a guided tour of the Manse and the teachers will tour the Museum.  

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum is open 360 days a year for guests from around the world to tour the President’s Birthplace, the historic gardens, and the Woodrow Wilson Museum, including the President’s 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine.  The WWPL is constructing a World War I exhibit to be completed in the next month.  The WWPL also sponsors educational programming for thousands of schoolchildren each year and hosts teachers’ institutes and a variety of other education symposia.  In addition, the WWPL attracts top-flight speakers, including Scott Berg, Larry Sabato, Cokie Roberts, Bill Schneider, Robert Samuelson, and Walter Russell Mead.  

The WWPL has a large collection of Wilson and Wilson-era documents and has established the Wilson e-Library, an on-line digital archive through which students, teachers, scholars, and the public can access these documents for free.  Recently, the WWPL purchased an historic building next to the Museum and began the process of turning it into the Library and Research Center.              

Those interested in more information about this visit or the WWPL’s educational programming should contact Joel Hodson, Director of Education, 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