The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum announced today that, on Thursday, October 29, at 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., local teacher E. Jane Sherman will speak about “Ladies in Black: Victorian Mourning Rituals and Superstitions,” followed by a candlelight tour of the “Mourning in the Manse” exhibit.  Each program will begin with Ms. Sherman’s talk in the Educational Parlor of the Dolores Lescure Center of the WWPL, the building that houses the Woodrow Wilson Museum. 

The candlelight tours of the “Mourning in the Manse” exhibit that follow the talk will be a rare opportunity to visit the Manse after dark.  The admission price is $5.00.  Space is limited and reservations are required.  Please note that the topic is geared towards adults and may not be appropriate for young children.   

The Mourning display includes a Victorian-era coffin in the parlor, a display of hair art, black crepe, mourning clothing and accessories, and wreaths and flowers.  The hair art display consists of sentimental and ornamental jewelry and framed wreaths made from human hair.  The exhibit will remain on display through November 14, 2009.  “Mourning in the Manse” allows visitors to step back in time to understand with greater clarity this tradition from the time of our 28th President and his family.  The exhibit demonstrates how very different funeral customs were at that time in our history.   

E. Jane Sherman is a Certified Genealogist, a local teacher, and a Regent of the Augusta Parish Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Her talk and the exhibit continue the Presidential Library’s effort to show various traditions in the Manse.   

For reservations and questions about the Mourning program, contact Barbara L. Wimble, Manager of Visitor Services, at (540) 885-0897, ext. 106, or at

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