As the 100th Anniversary of the First World War is commemorated, it neatly ties in with the history of a famous Shenandoah Valley native who was the 28th President of the United States: Thomas Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was born in the city of Staunton in 1856, and today his birthplace is home to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum.
The museum opened an exhibit this past June entitled, “I Believe In Democracy.” It contrasts the presidential election that is going now with the one that occurred exactly 100 years ago, marked by Wilson's successful bid for a second term.
The exhibit shows how much U.S. presidential elections have changed since then. …Or have they, really?
In 1916, Wilson was running as an incumbent Democrat. He was running against a divided Republican Party. The GOP had been trying to heal the wounds from the previous election, when Teddy Roosevelt challenged the sitting Republican president, William Howard Taft. The split allowed Wilson, then a relatively fresh face in national politics, to squeak by with enough electoral votes to win in 1912.
By 1916, Republicans had regrouped. They rallied to oust Wilson, but by this time he had picked up a number of the Republican voters who had gone for Roosevelt in the previous election. Wilson narrowly defeated Republican Charles E. Hughes, of New York.
So the political landscape then was certainly different than it is now in 2016. Like today, however, the election did not involve just two main political parties. Teddy Roosevelt's new “Bull Moose” Progressive Party was on the ballot as it had been four years before, as were the Prohibition Party and the Socialists.
So much of America’s past can be discovered here. We’re no stranger to the Civil War, and our scenic battlefields are still here. It’s a place of annual living history reenactments and so many fascinating indoor and outdoor historical programs. The days are getting cooler. Time to transport yourself back into a bit of genuine Shenandoah Valley history.
Sunspots Studios, 202 S. Lewis St. Live demonstrations daily until 4 p.m. Gift shop open Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 540-885-0678 or visit www.sunspots.com
Lisanby Museum, Room 1108, Festival Conference and Student Center. James and Gladys Kemp exhibit A Modern Point of View: Exploring Early 20 Century Painting. Runs Sept. 5 through Oct. 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Closed Oct. 7. Free admission. For more information, call 540-568-2661 or visit www.jmu.edu
101 Maury River Drive. Sept. 26-Oct 2. For More Information, call 540-261-7321 or visit www.glenmaurypark.com
Cleo Driver Miller Art Gallery. Time and Place: Patricia Hobbs exhibits color and monochromatic monotypes. 8 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 to 11 p.m. on Sundays. Runs Aug. 29 - Sept. 27. Sept. 12 Artist Talk and Reception: 5 to 7 p.m. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit bridgewater.edu
Taylors Farm Market, 178 Pilgrim St. Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fresh produce and fruit, homemade goods, jams and local and state wines and spirits. For more information, visit www.taylors-farm-market.myshopify.com
Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W. Main St. Series continues on Sept. 26: Duck Soup 1933, with The Marx Brothers. All 7 p.m. screenings will include a brief introduction, short intermission, and optional film discussion afterwards led by The Classic Cinema Club. Films are subject to change. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.waynetheatre.org
Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main St. Sept 26 and 30 at 2 p.m. Two-hour, guided car-caravan tour led by ranger vehicle: Chronological interpretation of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Stops at key landmarks. Presented by Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit nps.gov/cebe
ShenandoahValley.com is owned and operated by Shenandoah Valley Productions, a little “mom-and-pop” business, but one that’s located right here in the region. Our mission has long been to showcase the area’s visual beauty, unique “Valley” people and culture and, of course, some really, really rich history.
We first fell in love with Virginia in 1970, courtesy of the U.S. Navy, stationed in Norfolk. That was the year Virginia officially declared itself “for lovers.” But for us, the real love affair started in 1977, when we first visited the Shenandoah Valley on our wedding night. We moved here a year later, and well ...we are still here!
So it’s kind of a long story how we got from 1978 to this website, but here it is.
Website background photos are provided by a select group of photographers from across the region who share their own love of the Valley through the lenses of their cameras. Words alone may not really describe the place.
Our regional events listings are always up to date, and we’re not really selling anything on here. In fact, we get no outside funding, but are wholly independent. Like many of our friends and neighbors who also feel blessed to live here, free and independent, surrounded by peace and beauty.
Each month we head out to some part of this diverse region and do a feature story and travel video about it -- some cool event, piece of history or special place that makes the name "Shenandoah" so uniquely known worldwide.
So, come and set a spell, and please also consider making a donation. Either way, we’re glad you stopped by. Come on back to see us again!
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This natural landmark provides a distinctive skyline for nearby Lexington, Virginia. The mountain is over 3,600 feet high and offers hiking trails.