Friday, December 14, 2012

Woodrow Wilson’s Birthday Celebration – Staunton Honors a Distinguished Son

During December 1912 in Staunton, many children anxiously waited for Christmas and many adults anxiously prepared for the visit of President-elect Woodrow Wilson to begin on December 27. The occasion for Wilson’s visit was to celebrate his 56th birthday on December 28th at the place of his birth in the Presbyterian Manse on Coalter Street.

On Election Day, Tuesday, November 5, 1912, Rockingham County cast 3,195 votes for president of which fifty-five percent went to Wilson. On November 18th the local newspaper reported that plans were well underway for a “mammoth celebration” for Woodrow Wilson in Staunton on December 28th. The visit was planned to be a sentimental and non-political journey. Speculation centered on whether Wilson would come to the Valley by way of Harpers Ferry or Washington. [1]