The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced that, in partnership with area Girl Scouts, it will sponsor a World Thinking Day event at Stuart Hall School in Staunton on Saturday, February 20th , from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.  World Thinking Day is an annual event at which Girl Scouts and Girl Guides worldwide contemplate a common problem.  Area girl scouts will attend several sessions centered around this year’s theme, “Together we can end extreme poverty and hunger.”  The participants will start seeds for Dave’s Garden, a local garden sponsored by Staunton’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church that donates food and proceeds to the Food Bank; create posters for area businesses highlighting the issues of world hunger; and play a guided game to better understand the impact of the uneven distribution of resources around the world.   

The event will also include two speakers, Linda Terry of East to West Gifts in Staunton and Rebecca Evans of Blue Ridge Community College.  Ms. Terry will explain the concept of Fair Trade, while Ms. Evans will discuss her recent trip to Haiti during the earthquake and what BRCC is doing to help rebuild a school there.  

Stuart Hall School is an appropriate setting for the event, because Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, attended Virginia Female Institute (now Stuart Hall) in her teens.  Students from Mary Baldwin College will also assist with the event.   

Each participant is being encouraged to make a donation to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund or bring canned food for the food pantry at First Presbyterian Church in Staunton.  That food pantry was chosen because President Wilson’s father, The Reverend Joseph Wilson, was the minister at First Presbyterian Church when President Wilson was born.  

This program is a part of the WWPL’s educational outreach program.  The Presidential Library regularly hosts area students for interactive programs that meet Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) requirements.  In the “Journey Into History” program and the “Professor, President, Peacemaker” program, students engage in a guided tour of Woodrow Wilson's birthplace and group activities in the Woodrow Wilson Museum and the Presidential Library’s classroom and education parlor.  The WWPL also hosts a summer “Journey Into History” camp, a three-day interactive history camp with a different theme each summer.

To register Girl Scouts for the event or to obtain more information about any of the Presidential Library’s education programming, contact Ellen Abernethy, Museum Educator, at, or at (540) 885-0897, ext. 110.

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