Thomas Woodrow Wilson
Washington National Cathedral, Washington DC
This is the picture that started it all. It was taken on my academic team’s trip to DC for the National History Bowl and Bee in April, 2014. I have been to DC numerous times; it’s one of my favorite cities to visit (being a history guy and all). However, every time I am there, I miss out on heading to National Cathedral and, in turn, picking up Wilson (I've already picked up the other two buried in the DC area, JFK and Taft. Notice I didn't say "in DC?" Those guys are at Arlington National in Virginia). This time, since we had a car with us, I had no excuse. So we drove up through Georgetown and made it to National Cathedral.
While I did get a picture of the team at Wilson’s tomb, I figured I’d go the selfie route. Up to then, I only made one other selfie and that was in the dugout at Turner Field during the tour I did with the same team before we played our first High-Q match.
This was taken the day "selfie" was declared the Word of the Year by the OED.
How meta of me. Oh, and nice photobomb Abbey.
It’s obvious I was still getting the selfie thing down. Had I know to turn the camera around and use the volume keys, the picture probably would have come out better. Nevertheless, here it is- the pic that started this whole project.
If you've never been to National Cathedral, do so and pay for the tour. You visit some very interesting places in the building and even venture to the top of the towers to get some really cool views of the DC area (did you know there's a moon rock window in the building?). National Cathedral is more than a final resting place though, it is what its name states: the Nation's Cathedral. It's hosted several state funerals (Presidents Ford and Reagan are among the most recent), weddings and is a fully functioning Episcopal church. With that said, for the West Wingers out there (myself included), it's the scene of perhaps one of the best scenes and monologues in the history of the series (and yes, I played this as I walked up the center aisle. Chills were felt. Don't judge.)
Wilson is one of those Presidents that many know about but don't really know much about. Yes, he led the US during WWI (which he did try to keep us out of, even as the Germans were sinking ships full of Americans. Thank goodness unarmed neutral passengers don't get shot out from under them any more right?). Yes, he formed the League of Nations (which the US didn't join due to Senatorial veto, a move that may have led to the rise of Hitler and the eventual start of WWII). However, did you know he spent the last few months of his term incapacitated from a stroke he suffered while politicking for the League of Nations? Did you know Edith Wilson effectively controlled access to the President, making many believe that Mrs. Wilson was running the country (before Hillary's time)? What about the fact he's the only President to have a Ph.D not to mention being an Ivy League President (Princeton)?
Here's some info on Wilson and the National Cathedral:
Information on Wilson
http://www.woodrowwilson.org/ (Presidential Library in Staunton VA)
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/about-woodrow-wilson (The Wilson Center in DC)
Articles on Wilson:
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2013/08/woodrow-wilson-biography-excerpt (His battle over the League of Nations)
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history_lesson/2010/10/hating_woodrow_wilson.html (The good, the bad and the ugly on Wilson)