Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library to Present Essay Contest Awards to Woodrow Wilson High School Students

STAUNTON, VIRGINIA—The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced its representatives will travel to Portsmouth to present Woodrow Wilson Essay Contest awards totaling $5,000.00 to students of Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia.  The presentations will be part of the school’s year-end awards assembly on Wednesday, May 27, at 6:00 p.m. at the high school, which is located at 1401 Elmhurst Lane in Portsmouth.  The phone number there is (757) 465-2907.  The Presidential Library and Woodrow Wilson High School are jointly sponsoring the Woodrow Wilson Essay Contest to further the students’ knowledge of President Wilson.  

The Presidential Library has held similar essay contests at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Tampa, Florida, the last two years.  When CNN Political Analyst Bill Schneider spoke at the Presidential Library last year, the Presidential Library learned that Dr. Schneider is an alumnus of Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth and decided to establish an essay contest at the school.  

There are eight winners of the contest, two from each class.  The senior class winners will receive $1,000.00 each, while the other winners will receive $500.00 each.  At the ceremony, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Executive Director Eric Vettel will present each winner with a certificate and a mock check.  Nancy McIntyre, the WWPL’s Director of Development, and Karen McGrath, the WWPL’s Director of Special Events, will assist with the ceremony. 

Here is a list of the winners:  

12th Grade-     Justine Jackson and Jasmine Pringle
11th Grade-     Shawn Bowers and Jennifer Duty
10th Grade-     Brittany Boomer and Anastasia Peele
9th Grade-       Meredith Hollingsworth and Jakira Jordan  

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Virginia, 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 Presidential Library also sponsors educational programming for thousands of schoolchildren each year and hosts teachers’ institutes and a variety of other educational symposia.  The Presidential Library’s speaker series has recently included Scott Berg, Lawrence Eagleburger, Kevin Phillips, Larry Sabato, Cokie Roberts, Bill Schneider, and Robert Samuelson.   The Presidential Library has a large collection of Wilson and Wilson-era documents and recently established the Wilson e-Library, an on-line digital archive through which students, teachers, scholars, and the public can access these documents for free.  The Foundation recently purchased an historic home next to the Museum and is now turning the building into the WWPL’s Library and Research Center.

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