Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

Woodrow Wilson gives a few words at Mary Baldwin College during his birthday visit in 1912.

After being elected President, Woodrow Wilson returned to his birthplace of Staunton on December 28, 1912. His decision to return home caused excitement throughout the town. The town’s people dedicated themselves to making sure that Wilson’s trip back to the place of his birth would be memorable. One of the highlights of the trip would be his birthday dinner in honor of the 56th anniversary of his birth. The dinner was held at the Staunton Military Academy, which is now part of Mary Baldwin College, on the night of his birthday. The library holds two copies of the menu and the food that was served at this historic event. Continue reading


Teddy Roosevelt’s Bully Flag

TR close up

The 1912 presidential election saw three candidates eager to lead America into the second decade of the twentieth century. A former governor from New Jersey, a former two term President and a republican incumbent debated issues of monopolies and implementation of a federal income tax across the nation only to have the victor, 28th President Woodrow Wilson, receive 42% of the popular vote. Continue reading

Staunton’s Son Comes Home

Woodrow and Ellen Wilson arrive at the Staunton, Virginia train depot. Courtesy of WWPL

Once Woodrow Wilson was elected president in 1912, numerous cities and towns in the United States wanted to meet him. Having received countless offers, he found that there was one town he had to make the journey to: his birthplace of Staunton, VA.  As a result of the decision, the town anticipated and celebrated his arrival. The town became fully decorated and a number of events were planned for Wilson and his guests. In our library, we have a copy of the official program of events that were created by the Authority Central Committee. Continue reading