December 28 marks President Woodrow Wilson’s birthday, who was born in Staunton, Virginia in 1856. The date is also the anniversary of the death of Edith Bolling Wilson, his beloved second wife. Mrs. Wilson died in 1961, at the age of 89. On that day, she had planned to be the guest of honor at the dedication of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, connecting Virginia with Maryland over the Potomac River.
Yesterday, representatives from the museum stood alongside Bolling Family members and staff of the Woodrow Wilson House gathered to witness the annual wreath laying and prayer service in honor of Woodrow Wilson at the National Cathedral. The ceremony was presided by Reverend Doctor Olivia Hilton, who included a prayer written by President Wilson as the Nation was entering World War I:
"Almighty God, ruler of all the peoples of the earth, forgive, we pray, our shortcomings as a nation; purify our hearts to see and love truth; give wisdom to our counselors, and steadfastness to our people; and bring us at last to the fair city of peace, whose foundations are mercy, justice, and goodwill, and whose builder and maker you are. AMEN."
The United States Armed Forces commemorated President Woodrow Wilson's 161st birthday with a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor wreath-laying ceremony. The wreath was placed by Brig. Gen. Douglas A. Sims II, director of operations readiness and mobilization, Department of the U.S. Army. Ambassador Hovhannissian of the Embassy of Armenia to the United States also honored President Wilson with a floral tribute sporting the Armenian flag. President Wilson played a special role in the history of Armenia. Through his leadership, Wilson arbitrated the boundary between the First Armenian Republic and Turkey as determined by the treaty of Sevres in 1920. He is also remembered for his efforts to save hundreds of thousands refugees and orphans after the Armenian Genocide.
A special orchid tribute to First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson was provided by Chadwick & Son Orchids Inc of Richmond, Virginia.
President Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Wilson are the only presidential couple buried in Washington, D.C., and they are both interred at the National Cathedral.
You can watch a live feed of the ceremony provided by the U.S. Army here.
Photos courtesy of Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Foundation, Woodrow Wilson House, Sarah Andrews, and the Embassy of Armenia to the United States.
Temporarily closed due to COVID -19
In-season Hours (May-December)
Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Off-season Hours (January - April)
To schedule a pre-arranged individual or group tour, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
145 E. Main St., Wytheville, VA 24382
The museum is located downtown across from the Bolling Wilson Hotel.
Entry to the museum is by donation. Guided tours of the Birthplace and Bolling Family Home are $5 for adults and $3 for children.