Thursday, October 2, 2014



Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Ninety-five years ago today, October 2, 1919, 28th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson suffered a massive stroke at the White House here in the Nation's Capital.

The President had returned to the Executive Mansion after collapsing while on a whistle-stop tour across the country to gain support for the Versailles Treaty which he helped negotiate in France at the end of World War I.

The controversial peace treaty included a League of Nations which was to be a body of international cooperation to prevent another world war.

Wilson's tour had begun on September 2, 1919.  He was giving up to three speeches each day, but collapsed after speaking in Pueblo, Colorado on October 2, 1919.

The stroke, which left the President paralyzed on his left side, effectively ended Wilson's ability to influence the Senate vote on the treaty or, in fact, to conduct the daily business required of the President of the United States.

The public, however, was kept in the dark regarding the severity of the stroke or of the President's condition.

The Treaty of Versailles was not ratified by the Senate but President Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919.  He died four years later in Washington, D.C.  He is buried in the National Cathedral.

Woodrow Wilson's Sarcophagus
National Cathedral
Tony Fisher Photography
December 29, 2009