Tags: woodrow wilson | presidential library and museum

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum: Inside Virginia Landmark

By    |   Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 04:19 PM

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum is home to a large collection of documents and artifacts that detail the two-term presidency of the 28th president who led the United States through World War I.

Located in Staunton, Virginia, where Wilson was born, the museum, historic gardens, and library offer hints of the man behind the presidency, along with educating visitors about what occurred during his eight years in office.

The Greek Revival home where Wilson’s family lived is decorated with heirlooms and tells the story of his beginnings, as well as his presidency. Although the family moved to Georgia when Wilson was just 1 year old, the Presidential Library and Museum's website said he remained strongly connected Virginia throughout his life.

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The home contains many of the items that were common to a 19th century household, and tours throughout the year highlight the artifacts, their uses, and their meaning to the Wilson family.

Visitors to the museum and library will learn how Wilson’s early life and choices led him to politics, including the fact that he was the first president to receive his doctorate, appropriately a political science degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Although Wilson, the man, can be seen throughout the museum and library, it is leadership of the nation that is the focus of the presidential library, which contains numerous documents pertinent to the many events that occurred in the country from 1912 to 1921.

Letters that Wilson wrote to the visiting leaders of other nations, such as the Brazilian Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs in June 1913, are mixed with photographs from Wilson’s early life and throughout his presidency. The museum has been digitizing many of the documents and making them available online, as well.

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Numerous archival collections are available at the museum, including a collection of political cartoons that provide a glimpse of the political controversies that occurred by Wilson during his career.

Although the collections of paperwork are important to understanding Wilson’s presidency, many visitors are intrigued by the more tactile exhibits, such as a recreated World War I trench, complete with lights and sounds. Wilson’s 1919 Pierce Arrow limousine that he used during his presidency is also popular. In 2010, the car was taken to Kansas City where it was awarded “Most Exceptional Car” in the Midwest’s largest vintage car show.

Although the multitude of documents in the library and the historical artifacts throughout the home can keep visitors occupied for days, no one should leave without a visit to the surrounding gardens. Although the original property did not have a garden, it has been designed and maintained by the Garden Club of Virginia during a three-phase project as an area appropriate to the time period. The most recent phase was completed in 2008.

Visitors will see boxwood-lined bowknot beds, pathways, and a brick terrace, the website said. Lilacs, hostas and perennials will surround the walkways.

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The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum is home to a large collection of documents and artifacts that detail the two-term presidency of the 28th president who led the United States through World War I.
woodrow wilson, presidential library and museum
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2014-19-28
Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 04:19 PM
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