Digital Exhibit on Segregation

CS66aThe Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library recently created a digital exhibit on the issue of segregation during the Wilson administration.

Althea Cupo, who designed the exhibit, said, “When I started researching for the exhibit, I expected there to be two perspectives on segregation: the White perspective and the African-American perspective. What I found was six or seven different perspectives. While people’s opinions were often drawn on racial lines, they weren’t always. The segregation controversy of 1914 resembled a modern debate much more than it did anything you would find in a history book.”

Cupo says the aim of the exhibit was to show the variety of opinions that existed on segregation. Since Wilson played a largely passive role in the debate on segregation , the exhibit focuses on the American people’s response to Wilson’s stance on segregation through the lens of their letters to the president, particularly around a single fiery conflict in his office with representatives of the NAACP in what became known as the Trotter Incident.

The exhibit can be viewed here:


The Virginian

Wilson was still an infant, “very plump and fat and remarkably quiet,” when his father, Joseph Ruggles Wilson, moved the family south from Staunton, Virginia to Augusta, Georgia in late 1857.  He spent his boyhood in Georgia, and in Columbia, South Carolina, coming of age eventually in Wilmington, North Carolina.  How then, did Staunton become home to Wilson’s Presidential Library? Continue reading

Is This Wilson?

Spiritualism drew a lot of attention from Americans in the decades between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Scientists, celebrities, and presidents all debated communication with spirits and many of them, like everyone else, visited mediums. In elaborate seances, people got the chance to talk to the departed dead. Some of the messages could be heartrending. Others had advise from historical figures. And many of the voices of the dead were just spooky. Continue reading