Woodrow Wilson

28th President of the United States
Born Dec 28, 1856

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. Running against Republican incumbent William Howard Taft, Socialist Party of America candidate Eugene V.… Read More

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1856 Birth Wilson was born to an ethnic Scots-Irish family in Staunton, Virginia, on December 28, 1856, at 18–24 North Coalter Street (now the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library). … Read More
1861 4 Years Old In 1861 Wilson's father was one of the founders of the Southern Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) after it split from the northern Presbyterians.
1865 8 Years Old He served as the first permanent clerk of the southern church's General Assembly, was Stated Clerk for more than three decades from 1865 to 1898, and was Moderator of the PCUS General Assembly in 1879.


1870 13 Years Old 1 More Event
He became minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Georgia, and the family lived there until 1870, when young Wilson was 14. … Read More
1873 16 Years Old Wilson attended Davidson College in North Carolina for the 1873–74 school year, cut short by illness, then transferred to Princeton as a freshman. … Read More
1876 19 Years Old In the hotly contested presidential election of 1876, Wilson declared his support for the Democratic Party and its nominee, Samuel J. Tilden.


1879 22 Years Old In 1879, Wilson attended law school at the University of Virginia for one year; he was involved in the Virginia Glee Club and was president of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. … Read More
1882 25 Years Old His health became frail and dictated withdrawal, he went home to his parents, then living in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he continued his law studies. Wilson was admitted to the Georgia bar and made a brief attempt at law practice in January 1882; he found legal history and substantive jurisprudence interesting, but abhorred the day-to-day procedural aspects. … Read More
In the fall of 1883, Wilson entered Johns Hopkins University to study history, political science and the German language. … Read More
1885 28 Years Old 1 More Event
She happily agreed to sacrifice further independent artistic pursuits in order to keep her marriage commitment, and in 1885 she and Wilson married.


1888 31 Years Old In 1888, Wilson left Bryn Mawr for Wesleyan University; it was a controversial move, as he had signed a three-year contract with Bryn Mawr in 1887. … Read More
1890 33 Years Old 1 More Event
In February 1890, with the help of friends, Wilson was elected by the Princeton University board to the Chair of Jurisprudence and Political Economy, at an annual salary of $3,000. … Read More
1892 35 Years Old Wilson had in the past been offered the presidency at the University of Illinois in 1892, and at the University of Virginia in 1901, both of which he declined.
1893 36 Years Old His third book, entitled Division and Reunion, was published in 1893 and considered an outstanding contribution to American historical writing. … Read More


1899 42 Years Old In 1899, Wilson wrote in "The State" that governments could legitimately promote the general welfare "by forbidding child labor, by supervising the sanitary conditions of factories, by limiting the employment of women in occupations hurtful to their health, by instituting official tests of the purity or the quality of goods sold, by limiting the hours of labor in certain trades, and by a hundred and one limitations of the power of unscrupulous or heartless men to out-do the scrupulous and merciful in trade or industry." … Read More
1902 45 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Wilson earned a PhD in political science at Johns Hopkins University, and served as a professor and scholar at various institutions before being chosen as President of Princeton University, a position he held from 1902 to 1910.
1903 46 Years Old …  Wilson also negotiated a treaty with Colombia in which the U.S. apologized for its role in the Panama Revolution of 1903–1904. … Read More
In 1906 Wilson awoke to find himself blind in the left eye, the result of a blood clot and hypertension. … Read More


1908 51 Years Old 1 More Event
From its outset, Wilson became disenchanted with resistance to his recommendations at Princeton; he ruminated on future political leadership. Prior to the Democratic presidential nominating convention in 1908, Wilson had dropped hints to some influential players in the Democratic Party of his interest in the Democratic ticket. … Read More
In the election of 1910, he was the gubernatorial candidate of New Jersey's Democratic Party, and was elected the 34th Governor of New Jersey, serving from 1911 to 1913.
Running for president in 1912, Wilson benefited from a split in the Republican Party, which enabled his plurality of just over forty percent to win him a large electoral college margin.
Having taken office one month after ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, Wilson called a special session of Congress, whose work culminated in the Revenue Act of 1913, introducing an income tax and lowering tariffs. … Read More
Wilson began pushing for legislation which culminated with the Federal Trade Commission Act signed in September 1914. … Read More
…  Wilson was an avid baseball fan, and in 1915 became the first sitting president to attend, and throw out the first ball at, a World Series game.
Wilson faced former New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes in the presidential election of 1916. … Read More


In March 1917 several American ships were sunk by Germany and Teddy Roosevelt privately reacted, "if he does not go to war I shall skin him alive". … Read More
With congressional elections approaching, in 1918 Wilson made an appeal to the public for the retention of a Democratic majority and this seriously backfired due to its self-serving tone–Republicans successfully picked up majorities in both houses of Congress. … Read More
A devoted Presbyterian, Wilson infused morality into his internationalism, an ideology now referred to as "Wilsonian"—an activist foreign policy calling on the nation to promote global democracy. For his sponsorship of the League of Nations, Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize, the second of three sitting presidents so honored.
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