Woodrow Wilson

December 14h, 1914: US President Woodrow Wilson signs Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, to regulate and tax production, importation, and distribution of opiates and coca products.

Why Famous: A progressive politician, Woodrow Wilson became President of Princeton University in 1902, Governor of New Jersey in 1910 and was nominated for President by the Democratic Party in 1912.

Wilson served two terms. His first saw the introduction of progressive legislation that would be unseen in scale until Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s. This legislation included the Federal Reserve Act, the Underwood Revenue Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act and child labor laws.

In 1914, World War I broke out and Wilson maintained neutrality, while pursuing a more aggressive course in Mexico’s civil war. Wilson became the first Democrat since Andrew Jackson to be re-elected to consecutive terms in 1916. The following year, when Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare and the existence of the Zimmerman Telegram was disclosed, he changed his earlier stance on entering the war and asked the Senate to declare war on Germany, taking the country into the final stages of World War I.

After the Allied victory he was instrumental in negotiating the Treaty of Versailles and establishing the League of Nations. Wilson had first put forward the idea of a League as part of his ‘Fourteen Points’ speech in a Senate address. In 1919 he won the Nobel Peace Prize. The same year he suffered a severe stroke which left his power and influence diminished, and the Treaty of Versailles was eventually rejected by the Senate. He lost a bid to be re-nominated at the Democratic National Convention and left office in 1921, before dying in 1924.

Presidential Term: April 3, 1913 – April 3, 1921
Preceded By: William Howard Taft
Succeeded By: Warren G. Harding

Born: December 28, 1856
Birthplace: Staunton City, Virginia, USA

Died: February 3, 1924 (aged 67)
Cause of Death: Stroke

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