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Visitors in Staunton Remember America's 28th President - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Visitors in Staunton Remember America's 28th President

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Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum
STAUNTON, Va (WVIR) - Hundreds of people stopped in Staunton Saturday to celebrate the birthday of America's 28th president.

Visitors toured the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum to remember the life and legacy he left behind.

Guests got to take a trip back in time through the commemoration, giving people a glimpse into the life of America's 28th leader.

“In many ways, it's a story of a tragedy, triumph and tragedy,” says Wilson Library CEO Don Wilson.

The Wilson Library honors where Wilson was born on December 28, 1856.

“He became a very successful president in terms of domestic policy, was a great war leader through the war, but the peace fell apart with the failure of the League of Nations,” Wilson says.

More than 500 visitors of all ages celebrated Wilson's 157th birthday Saturday by studying the backdrop of his presidency through the museum.

“He's often portrayed as this austere academic,” Wilson says. “He's the only president to have earned a Ph.D. in art history.”

Visitors also took guided tours through the manse, also known as Wilson's birthplace, to explore lesser known details about his daily life before the White House.

“When he left Princeton University, he dropped Thomas from his name,” says Wilson Library interpreter Luther Roadcap. “He preferred Woodrow Wilson to Thomas, thought it had a better ring to it.”

Organizers say the commemoration allows guests to trace Wilson's rise to the presidency back to his roots in Staunton.

“Just by seeing here where he was born, seeing his humble roots and showing the fact that Wilson came from being a child born here in Staunton, Virginia to rising to the presidency of the United States - that is truly the American dream,” Roadcap says.

2013 also marks the 100th anniversary of Wilson's inauguration as president.

If you missed Saturday’s birthday event, you can still see the exhibit during the library's winter hours Thursday-Sunday.

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