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The President Who Led America Through World War I

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Learn about the leader who navigated America through World War I.

description: a black and white photograph of a man sitting at a desk, wearing a suit and tie, with an american flag behind him.

When it comes to the history of the United States, one of the most significant events was its involvement in World War I. And at the helm during that time was President Woodrow Wilson. But how much do you really know about this president and his leadership during the war?

Before we dive into that, let's take a look at a question that often arises when discussing the U.S. government's spending: How much of the $31 trillion of U.S. national debt is the president responsible for, and which presidents increased the debt the most? In short, while presidents do have a role in shaping the budget and spending, they are not solely responsible for the national debt. However, some presidents, such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, did increase the debt significantly during their terms.

Now, back to President Wilson. One of his most significant goals during his presidency was to keep America out of the war in Europe. He even won reelection in 1916 with the campaign slogan, "He kept us out of war." However, that would change in 1917 when Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, which led to the sinking of American ships.

President Joe Biden has vowed to strive toward a world free of nuclear weapons, as he visited a museum in Hiroshima, Japan, documenting the devastation caused by the atomic bomb during World War II. Wilson also had a vision for creating a more peaceful world, which is why he proposed the League of Nations, an international organization aimed at preventing future wars.

But let's not forget the atrocities of World War II, which German President Frank Walter Steinmeier recently acknowledged and asked for forgiveness for the crimes committed by the German government during that time. Wilson's leadership during World War I was also marked by his efforts to hold Germany accountable for their actions, which ultimately led to the Treaty of Versailles.

Now, let's switch gears and talk about something that seems unrelated to war: the stock market. The performance of the volatile stock market typically has little to do with the president who's in office, although there are some exceptions, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market in 2020.

Back to Wilson, though. Did you know that he was responsible for implementing daylight saving time? While the practice of changing the clocks to adjust for more daylight during the summer months had been proposed before, it was Wilson who officially signed it into law in 1918.

But not all of Wilson's actions were positive. In fact, he was known for having affairs while in office. And, like President Warren G. Harding, he paid to keep some of these affairs quiet. It's important to acknowledge the flaws of our leaders, even as we appreciate their accomplishments.

To tell the story of Anna Rosenberg, author Christopher Gorham searched her archives, where he found "handwritten letters from Harry Truman." While Wilson's presidency predates the Truman administration, it's interesting to think about the connections between presidents and the impact they have on each other's legacies.

Speaking of legacies, Queen Elizabeth II has met with 13 sitting U.S. presidents during her lifetime, which is a testament to her longevity and the importance of maintaining relationships with other countries.

Finally, let's end on a lighter note and talk about a story that President Biden recently shared during a military veterans event in Delaware. He recounted how, as vice president, he presented a challenge coin to a soldier who didn't believe he was actually the vice president. It's moments like these that humanize our leaders and remind us that they are just people, too.

In conclusion, President Woodrow Wilson was the leader who navigated America through World War I. While his presidency was marked by both successes and failures, his impact on both American and global history is undeniable.

presidentworld war inational debtnuclear weaponsgerman crimesstock marketdaylight saving timeaffairsarchivesmonarchmilitary veterans

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