STAUNTON, VIRGINIA—The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum announced June 28 that its President and CEO, Don W. Wilson, will give a talk, "Presidential Libraries in the United States: National Treasures or Modern Pyramids?" at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas, this Thursday, June 30, at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Wilson is a Kansas native, from nearby Clay Center, Kansas, and began his extensive career with Presidential Libraries as Historian and Deputy Director at the Eisenhower Presidential Library from 1969 to 1978. Dr. Wilson later served as the first Director of the Gerald Ford Presidential Library in Michigan, Archivist of the United States, and Director of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, before his work with the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. As Archivist of the United States, Dr. Wilson oversaw all of the federal Presidential Libraries.

Dr. Wilson’s trip to Kansas continues the Presidential Library’s initiative to engage other Presidential Libraries and historical sites in partnerships. He also plans to give his talk on this topic at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum later this year on a date and time to be determined.

Dr. Wilson received his undergraduate degree from Washburn University in 1964 and his Masters in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1972 in American History from the University of Cincinnati. After his service at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, he worked as Associate Director of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin from 1978 to 1981 and as the first Director of the Ford Presidential Library from 1981 to 1987.

In the summer of 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed Dr. Wilson as the seventh Archivist of the United States. He was confirmed by the United States Senate, and held the position until 1993. As Archivist, Dr. Wilson oversaw the National Archives and Records Administration, which has custody of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation. From 1993 to 1999, as the Executive Director of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, Dr. Wilson was responsible for the establishment and development of that presidential library, which opened in 1997. During his service at these presidential libraries, Dr. Wilson served as a history professor at Kansas State University, the University of Michigan, Washburn University, and Texas A&M University.

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