Thomas Woodrow Wilson

A Timeline of Events

Early Years

  • Thomas Woodrow Wilson (known as "Tommy" until his college years) was born December 28, 1856, in Staunton, Virginia, to the Reverend Joseph Ruggles Wilson and Janet (Jessie) Woodrow Wilson.
  • Tommy Wilson moved with his family to Augusta, Georgia, when he was one, and lived there until his early teens when his family moved to Columbia, South Carolina.
  • The Wilson family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1874.
  • Tommy Wilson had three siblings: two sisters and a brother.

Education and Academic Life

  • Woodrow Wilson attended Davidson College for one year before entering Princeton University, where he graduated in 1879.
  • Woodrow Wilson attended the University of Virginia School of Law and practiced law briefly.
  • Woodrow Wilson earned a doctorate in political science from Johns Hopkins University and began his academic career as a professor at Bryn Mawr College.
  • Woodrow Wilson also taught at Wesleyan University before returning to Princeton University.
  • In 1902, Woodrow Wilson became president of Princeton University.

Early Political Career

  • Woodrow Wilson served as Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913.

Personal Life

  • Woodrow Wilson married Ellen Louise Axson in 1885. They had three daughters: Margaret, Jessie, and Eleanor.
  • Ellen Axson Wilson, a talented artist, served as First Lady and died in 1914 from Bright's disease while Woodrow Wilson was in office as President of the United States.
  • Woodrow Wilson married Edith Bolling Galt in 1915.


  • Woodrow Wilson took office as the 28th President of the United States in 1913, becoming the only president to hold a doctorate.
  • President Wilson worked with Congressional leaders to pass legislation that created a federal income tax, established the Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Trade Commission, and prohibited child labor.
  • In 1917, the United States entered World War I and President Wilson oversaw the nation's massive mobilization.
  • In 1918, President Wilson addressed the U.S. Congress, presenting his "Fourteen Points" and introducing his idea of a Covenant of a League of Nations, which was included in the Treaty of Versailles.
  • President Wilson received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1920.
  • After the U.S. Congress voted against accepting the Treaty of Versailles, President Wilson embarked on a nationwide tour to gain support for the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.
  • During his travels, President Wilson suffered a stroke, rendering him unable to finish his journey. He returned home and finished his term of office.


  • Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt lived in Washington, D.C., until his death in 1924. His remains are interred at the Washington National Cathedral.
Woodrow Wilson portrait