STAUNTON, VIRGINIA--The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced it will lead two groups of teachers this week on trips to historic sites as a part of the Teaching American History program. One group of area history teachers, in conjunction with Waynesboro Public Schools, will visit Gettysburg, where they will study the international implications of the American Civil War. The other group of teachers, working with Bedford County Public Schools, will visit Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. Both trips are part of three-year professional development programs for history teachers made possible by Teaching American History grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

The group going to Gettysburg includes teachers from Waynesboro, Staunton, Winchester, and Fredericksburg City schools and Augusta, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Amherst County schools. These teachers are in the second year of their program, entitled “Critical Connections in American History.” This group has already participated in one-week institutes at the Presidential Library last summer and this summer and one day workshops in the spring and fall the last two years.

The second group of teachers includes teachers from Alleghany, Bath, Bedford, Craig, Giles, Highland, and Pulaski County Public Schools. These teachers are in the first year of their program, entitled “American History in International Context.” This group participated in one-day preparatory sessions at the Presidential Library last fall and this spring and a one-week institute at the Presidential Library this summer.

The Teaching American History program is designed to improve the teachers’ knowledge and appreciation of American history by focusing on critical connections in America’s past. The project will strengthen teachers’ understanding of American history, impart a sense of the interplay of factors that influenced national development, provide knowledge of primary documents and material artifacts, demonstrate the use of advanced technology in teaching and, ultimately, improve students’ performance on standardized tests in American history. Both groups of teachers will return to the Presidential Library for one-day sessions this fall and next spring, and participate again in summer institutes in 2011.

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 Museum, and the historic gardens. In addition, thousands of schoolchildren participate in educational programming each year. In addition to teacher institutes, the Presidential Library attracts top-flight speakers and sponsors a variety of educational symposia. For more information, visit the WWPL’s website at

Those interested in more information about the Teaching American History 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