Book Trailer The Noble Train

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Women in White and Our First Woman President

You couldn't help but stare at the women in white last night during the State of the Union. It has been a hundred years since women got the vote and the women of the senate were showing their solidarity with those women who marched a century before. But there is another one hundred year anniversary and that is the Presidency of Edith Wilson. She took over the White House when Woodrow Wilson had a massive stroke and was hidden away in a bedroom. She really was our First Woman President even though she was not elected.

But the symbolism of all those women in the House of Representatives shows how far women have come. Edith Wilson only had three years of school and had buried a baby and a husband when she met Woodrow Wilson. She was forty four to his fifty nine and driving an electric car with the first drivers license issued in the District of Columbia. She had only been married to the President four years when he had a stroke after returning from a whistle stop tour to pass the League of Nations. The decision not to tell the public and the reluctance of the Vice President made Edith the defacto President.

She ruled for only two years and in a touch of irony the suffragettes had been chaining themselves to the White House gates for years to convince Wilson to support the vote for women. Little did they know a woman would run the White House. So the women in white are really celebrating two anniversaries, the vote for women and a secret presidency where a Woman ran the United States.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Books by William Hazelgrove