WilsonCentennial.org provides a single source of information for those interested in learning or sharing information about Princeton events that explore Woodrow Wilson’s place in U.S. and Princeton history. This site lists events being held in Princeton, NJ to commemorate the election of Woodrow Wilson on November 5, 1912 and his inauguration on March 4th, 1913. If you are sponsoring a Wilson event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to have your event listed on our event calender.
A special display space has been created at the Princeton Public Library for the centennial commemoration of Wilson’s election and inauguration. The display is located on the second floor of the library outside of the Princeton Room and features a wide range of books about Woodrow Wilson, his presidency as well as his own writings.
Of special note is that the display contains all sixty-nine volumes of the Papers of Woodrow Wilson edited by Arthur S. Link and published by Princeton University Press. The description for this important series states:
This massive collection includes all important letters, speeches, interviews, press conferences, and public papers on Woodrow Wilson. The culumes make available as never before the materials essential to understanding Wilson’s personality, his intellectual, religious, and political development, and his careers as educator, writer, orator, and statesman. The Papers not only reveal the private and public man, but also the era in which he lived, making the series additionally valuable to scholars and others in various fields of history between the 1870s and the 1920s.
All of the books on display are a part of the library’s regular circulating and reference collection, but have been gathered together in one central location for this special occasion. The book display will be up until March 15, 2013.
John Perry Leavell, emeritus professor of history at Drew University and a member of our Woodrow Wilson Centennial committee, has put together a recommended reading list that we have included on this site under the Reading Tab.
As we approach the centennial of Woodrow Wilson being elected to the presidency we are currently embroiled in a heavily divisive election that is forefront in most people’s mind. Perhaps reading a book might be a good escape? In this case, let us recommend one that will take your mind away from current politics and emerge you in to the election of 1912, an election that is highly interesting for many reasons aside from the fact that Woodrow Wilson was the winning candidate.
James Chace, who was the Paul W. Williams Professor of Government and Public Law at Bard College and an editor at Foreign Affair, wrote his final book that was published in 2004 on this very topic: 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft & Debs– the Election That Changed the Country (it can be found in the Princeton Public Library for those in town who would like to read it).
As Booklist states in its review of the volume:
The extraordinary presidential election of 1912 featured four serious candidates: the incumbent William Howard Taft, a Republican; former president Theodore Roosevelt, who bolted the Republican Party and ran as the Bull Moose candidate; Woodrow Wilson, Democrat governor of New Jersey; and the Socialist candidate, Eugene Debs. Professor Chace asserts that the election was a defining moment in American political history. The Republican rejection of Roosevelt and his progressive policies placed power in the hands of conservatives and their big-business backers; Chace draws a direct line from them to the triumph of Reagan-style conservatism. Wilson’s triumph committed the Democratic Party to an activist central government, nudged in that direction by the surprisingly strong showing of Debs …This is a valuable look at how and why our current political culture has evolved.
We welcome comments from our readers about this election year in general and about this book.
On this day, August 28, 1912, Wilson met Louis Brandeis for the first time for a lunch at the NJ Governor’s Summer Cottage in Sea Girt.
Brandeis was a successful progressive lawyer and authority on monopoly regulation. Brandeis helped Wilson solidify his position on the government’s role to foster free, competitive business which gave rise to the “New Freedom” campaign slogan. After the election Wilson sent Brandeis a letter dated Nov. 12, 1912 stating: “You were yourself a great part of the victory.” Wilson nominated Brandeis to the Supreme Court in 1916. Brandeis was the first Jewish justice and is considered one of the most influential.