Woodrow Wilson Centennial Banquet and Ball program (1956)

Fun Presidential Facts – Woodrow Wilson

Here are some quick facts, opinions, quotes and other information on President Woodrow Wilson:


Personal Information on Woodrow Wilson:

  • Twenty-eighth (1913 – 1921)

Interesting Woodrow Wilson facts:

  1. Woodrow Wilson’s father, Joseph Wilson, was one of the founders of the Southern Presbyterian Church in the United States. He was also a Presbyterian minister. He also owned slaves. He did set up Sunday School classes for his slaves, though. He would care for wounded soldiers in his church and served as a chaplain in the Confederate Army. One of Woodrow Wilson’s earliest memories was, at age three, standing next to General Robert E. Lee and looking up at his face.
  2. Woodrow Wilson is one of seven Presidents to have at least one of his parents born in a foreign country (this does not include the early Presidents, whose parents would technically have been born on foreign soil because we weren’t a nation yet). Wilson’s mother, Jessie Janet Wilson, was born in Carlisle, England. Thomas Jefferson (mother born in England), Andrew Jackson (both parents born in Ireland), James Buchanan (father born in Ireland), Chester Arthur (father born in Ireland), Herbert Hoover (mother born in Canada), and Barack Obama (father born in Kenya) are the other Presidents with foreign born parents.
  3. Woodrow Wilson is one of seven current Presidents to be born and die on the same day of the week. He was born on a Sunday and died on a Sunday. James Madison (Tuesdays), Andrew Jackson (Sundays), Martin Van Buren (Thursdays), Franklin Pierce (Fridays), Warren Harding (Thursdays), and Calvin Coolidge (Thursdays) all were born and died on the same day of the week. Strangely, Wilson was the start of three Presidents in a row (followed by Harding and Coolidge) who were born and died on the same day of the week. Currently, that is the longest streak.

My favorite Woodrow Wilson Quotes:

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.
The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.
If you think too much about being re-elected, it is very difficult to be worth re-electing.

Golf is a game in which one endeavors to control a ball with implements ill adapted for the purpose.

At every crisis in one’s life, it is absolute salvation to have some sympathetic friend to whom you can think aloud without restraint or misgiving.

In the Lord’s Prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach.

Woodrow Wilson blogs (click the title to go to that page):

Woodrow Wilson page on Presidential Crossroads (click “Woodrow Wilson” below):

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson Blogs:

His Education

His Death

The League of Nations

His Second Marriage

His First Wife

Dropping the Name Thomas

Was Edith Wilson in Charge of the Country?

What similar traits do I have with Presidents Garfield to Wilson


Personal thoughts on Woodrow Wilson:


Passion, Strong beliefs, Education, Vision of America as a world leader


Health, Stubborn at times

Presidential Greatness Scale (1-poor to 5-great): 3.8


What can you say about a guy who is on the highest denomination bill, the $100,000 bill, the United States has ever printed? Granted, it was never really in circulation, it was just used between Federal Reserve Banks, but that’s still pretty impressive. Wilson campaigned on keeping us out of World War I and then got us into World War I.  It was at the end of World War I, and some historians might argue on our overall importance in the Allies’ victory, but most of those historians would not argue with the fact that it was probably our introduction to the world stage as a new world leader. Wilson’s greatest handicap was his health. In a very close race to get the Senate to ratify the League of Nations (the prelude to the United Nations), Wilson hit the campaign trail to win votes in the Senate. Wilson suffered a stroke during the trip and his mental health, or at least his ability to communicate after that stroke, have been questioned ever since. Many historians actually believe it was his wife, Edith, who was running the country after that stroke. Without him campaigning for the League of Nations, the votes fell short in the Senate and we never joined that body. But Wilson was great at giving speeches and motivating people. He proved to be a great leader, who guided us through World War I. The sad part about Wilson, though, is the finish. The stroke stopped a very strong President, when we really could have used a very strong President.


Wilson by A. Scott Berg

Wilson by A. Scott Berg

Favorite Woodrow Wilson book:

Wilson by A. Scott Berg

Favorite Woodrow Wilson story:

The story of Woodrow Wilson’s sarcophagus inside the National Cathedral in Washington DC.

Most memorable Woodrow Wilson memory:

Visiting Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace in Staunton, Virginia.

Favorite Woodrow Wilson possession (see picture at the top):

The Centennial Banquet and Ball program I have. It was commemorating the 100th anniversary of the “Birth of Thomas Woodrow Wilson.”

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