Key Dates

1879 Woodrow Wilson graduated from Princeton University.

1886 Wilson receives a Ph. D. from Johns Hopkins University. He is the only President with a Doctorate.

1902 Wilson is named President of Princeton University.

1910 Woodrow Wilson is elected governor of New Jersey.

1912 Wilson is elected President.

1914 World War I begins. US is neutral.

1915 A German Submarine sinks the ocean liner Lusitania, killing U.S. citizens.

1917 Germany sinks more U.S. ships. The U.S. enters WW I.

1918 More than one million American soldiers go to fight in Europe.

1918 Germany is defeated. WW I ends.

1919 President Wilson negotiates the Treaty of Versailles.

1919 Woodrow Wilson suffers a stroke.

1919 18th Amendment is passed prohibiting the sale of alcohol.

1920 The U.S. Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles.

1924 Woodrow Wilson Dies.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson
1913 - 1921
28th President

Both of his paternal grandparents, James Wilson and Annie Mills Wilson, were from Ireland.

Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia on December 28, 1858.

Woodrow Wilson did not learn his letters until he was nine years old and didn't learn to read until he was eleven.

He was a Presbyterian.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1920.

President Wilson
Woodrow Wilson, 1912.
Library of Congress

Woodrow was married while he was President. His wife was Edith Bolling Galt Wilson.

He was one of 15 Presidents who became President without winning the popular vote. He received only 42% of the popular vote.

Woodrow Wilson's Vice President was Thomas R. Marshall (1913-1921).

Though he never met Wilson, Sigmund Freud wrote a psychological study of the president in which he asserted that Wilson unconsciously identified himself with Jesus Christ.

He was the only president with a Ph.D. He graduated from the University of New Jersey which is now called Princeton.

He was a teacher. He later became president of Princeton, making him the first President who had be president of a major university.

During World War I, when the government clamped down on the fledgling radio industry in the interests of security, the U.S. Navy had a corner on radio. In 1919, Wilson became the first U.S. president to make a radio broadcast to when he spoke from a ship to World War I troops aboard other vessels and was it was picked up by some people in America.

President Wilson tried to keep the U.S. out of WWI.

Election returns were broadcast for the first time by WWJ of Detroit, MI.

Wilson was the second President to win a Nobel Prize.

During WWI a flock of sheep was raised on the White House lawn. The wool was used to raise money for the Red Cross.

Partially paralyzed and nearly blind from a massive stroke, Wilson was protected by his wife, Edith, who ran what was called the "Petticoat Government." As the government limped along, she was also called the Iron Queen, the Presidentress, and the Regent.

Wilson was in favor of giving women the right to vote.

He was the first president to hold regular news briefings. (Press Conferences)

Woodrow was the first President to cross the Atlantic Ocean while he was in office.

Wilson finally died in 1924, a year after his supposedly more vigorous successor, Warren Harding. He is the only president buried in Washington, D.C. He is buried in the National Cathedral. He was 67 years and 37 days old.

His vice president, Thomas Riley Marshall, uttered the immortal words: "What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar."

Quotes from Woodrow Wilson:

"Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting."
Wilson, Sept. 28th, 1912.

"The only thing that has ever distinguished America among the nations is that she has shown that all men are entitled to the benefits of the law." (New York, Dec. 14, 1906.)

"If you want to make enemies, try to change something."
Speech in Detroit, MI July 10, 1916

"The day of conquest and aggrandizement has gone by." January 8, 1918



Quick Facts

28th President

Born: Staunton, Va., Dec. 28, 1856.

Inaugurated as President: March 4, 1913.
Second Term: March 5, 1917.

Party: Democratic

Died: Washington, DC. Feb. 3 1924, age of 67.



  • The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004
  • Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
  • James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002
  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964
  • Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
  • National Park Service Web Site on Presidential Trivia:

Additional Sources:


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This page was last modified: February 2, 2012