Friday 28 October 2016

Naked POTUS, number 28: Woodrow Wilson

"Even the President of the United States must sometimes have to stand naked" - BOB DYLAN

Say it loud, he's naked (and white) and he's proud. It's the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924). Here are the details:


Born 28th December 1856, Staunton, Virginia
Died 3rd February 1924, Washington D.C.

Presidential Term 4th March 1913 - 4th March 1921

Woodrow Wilson was the first US President to have a Ph.D; he gained his in the study of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. He gained national prominence as the progressive President of Princeton University.

Wilson passed the 17th and 18th Amendments to the US Constitution. The 17th made the election of members to the US Senate a matter for the popular vote. The 18th proved significantly less popular: in 1920 it outlawed the purchase or manufacture of alcoholic beverages.

Wilson's wife, Ellen, died from kidney failure on 5th August 1914, just days after Germany had declared war on Russia and invaded neutral Belgium, drawing Britain and France into the conflict and beginning the Great War.

During the Wilson Presidency, America found itself heavily involved in foreign affairs. The US Army overthrew Pancho Villa to quell the Mexican Rebellion in 1916.

He is best remembered for being the President who took the US into the Great War. Anti-German sentiment began to rise after their U-Boats sank the British passenger ship Lusitania, with many US citizens aboard. Wilson demanded that Germany cease their submarine warfare, severing diplomatic ties in protest in February 1917. The US formally entered the war on 6th April 1917.

Wilson became the second American President to win the Nobel Peace Prize in the conflict's aftermath for his efforts to form the League of Nations. Ironically, the United States would never join the League of Nations after the Senate opposed it. This diminished its importance and efficacy on the world stage and ultimately led to its collapse.

Wilson wasn't all wine and roses. He was a virulent racist who supported segregation and whose book "History of the American People" was quoted in D.W. Griffiths' infamous pro-Ku Klux Klan historical epic motion picture Birth of a Nation. Under the Wilson administration, Washington D.C. was re-segregated.

On 2nd October 1919, Wilson suffered a major stroke while visiting Pueblo, Colorado. This left him paralysed down his left side and a virtual recluse for the final year of his Presidency. Many of his duties were carried out in secret by his new first lady Edith, whom he had married in December 1915. Wilson never fully recovered and died three years after his term had ended.

N.B. Some parts of the above image have been redacted by the CIA for reasons of national security. An unexpurgated version of all the naked Presidents will be made available at the end of the project.

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