STAUNTON, VIRGINIA--The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced that it will host a one-week institute for 25 Virginia history teachers from Sunday, June 14, until Friday, June 19.  The summer seminar is the first of three annual week-long sessions in a professional development curriculum entitled “Critical Connections in American History.”  Dr. James Axtell, Emeritus Kenan Professor of Humanities at the College of William and Mary, and Dr. Peter S. Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia, will speak at the Institute.  Teachers from Waynesboro, Staunton, Winchester, and Fredericksburg City schools and Augusta, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Amherst County schools are participating.  Attached is a list of the participating teachers.  

On Sunday afternoon, the teachers will arrive, tour the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, and have a reception and dinner in the gardens.  On Monday through Thursday mornings, Dr. Axtell and Dr. Onuf will give morning presentations and lead discussions.  Each afternoon, the teachers will hear about and discuss teaching and research techniques, including primary sources, lesson plans, use of technology, and meeting Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL’s).  On Friday, the participants will give presentations on projects they prepared together throughout the week on topics related to the teaching of history.  

The program is designed to improve the teachers’ knowledge and appreciation of traditional American history by focusing on critical connections in America’s past.  During this first year, the teachers are examining four international moments that shaped the early history of the development of the United States:  the contact between native peoples and Europeans in North America, the creation of the Atlantic system of trade and the development of colonies in British North America, the origins of the American Revolution, and the early development of the United States in a global context.  

The workshop is part of a three-year program of history education seminars for high school teachers from Waynesboro Public Schools and seven other Virginia school districts.  The program is made possible by a Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  Waynesboro Public Schools received the grant in partnership with the Presidential Library, Amherst County Schools, Fredericksburg City Schools and Winchester Public Schools.   

The teachers participated in one-day preparatory sessions at the Presidential Library last fall and this spring.  In August, the teachers will continue the program through historic site visits to Jamestown and Williamsburg.  They will return to the Presidential Library for one-day sessions this fall and next spring, and participate in summer institutes in 2010 and 2011.  

Those interested in more information about this program should contact Dr. Joel Hodson, Director of Education at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, at (540) 885-0897, extension 103, or

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