The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced that Dr. John Milton Cooper, Jr., the foremost Woodrow Wilson scholar in the country and author of a new biography about President Wilson, will be the 2009 Annual Luncheon Speaker on Friday, November 13, at noon at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in Staunton.  Dr. Cooper’s new book, Woodrow Wilson:  A Biography, will be released on November 3.  Books will be sold at the event, and Dr. Cooper will be available to sign books after his talk.  The luncheon is sponsored by Bankers Insurance and Wharton, Aldhizer and Weaver.  

Dr. Don W. Wilson, President and CEO, said “The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum is honored to have John Milton Cooper speak at our event this year.  No one knows more about President Wilson than Dr. Cooper, the reviews of his book are outstanding, and he is a dynamic speaker."  

Dr. John Milton Cooper, Jr, is the E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin.  In addition to his new book, he is the author of Breaking the Heart of the World:  Wilson and the Fight for the League of Nations and The Warrior and the Priest:  Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, among other books.  

Former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, said this in his review of the Dr. Cooper’s new book:  “A riveting account of one of America’s most intellectually magnetic, yet also enigmatic, presidents.  Cooper does a superb job of portraying the aspirations of Wilson’s idealistic internationalism while at the same time detailing the realistic pitfalls that helped undermine it.  This is a fascinating read for those who want to understand a presidency that helped set the tone for U.S. foreign policy in the 20th Century.”  

Presidential scholar Michael Beschloss also reviewed the book:  “There is no more accomplished Woodrow Wilson scholar than Cooper, and this magisterial, judicious, deeply researched book–the culmination of decades of study–shows the author at the zenith of his powers.  This book demonstrates Wilson’s importance to our own generation, and his powerful judgments will shape the way we view the 28th President for a very long time.”

Author Margaret MacMillan said this about the book:  “Woodrow Wilson continues to intrigue–and divide–us.  At once an idealist expressing the noblest of liberal sentiments and a racist, an intellectual and a skilled politician, a man capable of great kindness and great vindictiveness–Cooper's masterly biography describes him warts and all.  A full and fascinating study of the man and his turbulent times.”

Individual tickets to the event are $45.00, while patron seats are available for $135.00, which includes two tickets with preferred seating.  Those interested in attending or with questions about the event should contact Karen McGrath, Assistant Director of Development, at, or at (540) 885-0897, ext. 112.

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