Monday, July 23, 2012

A Bit of Presidential History

Exactly one hundred years ago, Staunton, Virginia native Woodrow Wilson fought off three challengers to become the 28th President of the United States in 1912. He defeated two men who had already served as President: William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. There was also a challenge from the Socialist Party candidate, Eugene Debs. Much of the excitement and drama of Wilson's foray into national politics is captured in a new exhibit at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Virginia. Mac and I have visited this site and highly recommend it! The museum offers interesting insights into the Wilson presidency, who to date was the last President who was born in Virginia.  The 1912 election exhibit will be on display until late October. On display are the Wilson family Bible used when Wilson was sworn in as President in March 1913; newspaper cartoons--one of which predicted that Wilson's election would "be a calamity" for the United States; and other artifacts from the election. Smart phone users can walk to the center of the exhibit and hear speeches from all four presidential candidates. Upon exiting the exhibit, visitors can cast their own ballot for the 1912 election.

Wilson ran for re-election in 1916--the year that Maury Place was built--and narrowly won. That campaign was much tougher, and Wilson went to bed on election night in 1916 not knowing if he had won or not. He was narrowly re-elected with 277 electoral votes to 254 for challenger Charles Evans Hughes. The new exhibit in Staunton begins a centennial celebration of Wilson's presidency. Staunton is approximately a 90-minute drive from Maury Place at Monument. We also proudly use reproduction White House china for our breakfast service. We do not own the Wilson White House pattern yet, but we are on the look out for it! In addition, the Virginia Historical Society, which is within walking distance of Maury Place at Monument, features a permanent exhibit about the six United States Presidents who were from Virginia, of which Wilson was the last to date.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument