Edith Wilson (1872-1961) was an American first lady (1915–21) and the second wife of Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States. The couple married just a year after the 1914 death of Wilson's first wife, Ellen. Though Ellen admitted she had no prior knowledge of--or interest in--politics, she soon became deeply involved in presidential affairs. As first lady during World War I, she volunteered with the Red Cross and encouraged rationing efforts by American women. Edith Wilson's role as self-appointed "steward" for her husband following his debilitating stroke in 1919 has left her with a complicated and controversial legacy as first lady.
More to Explore
People and Groups
This Day in History
On this day in 2000, the bones of President James Garfield's spine are on display for a final day as part of the Out of the Blue Closets exhibit at the…
Did You Know?
In an effort to encourage food rationing during World War I, first lady Edith Wilson instituted a series of daily restrictions for the White House, which included "meatless" Mondays and "wheatless" Wednesdays.
Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up
Classroom Study Guides
Jefferson is an insightful 2-hour presentation on HISTORY which examines his many identities and asks viewers to answer for themselves: who was the real Thomas Jefferson, and what is his most lasting legacy in our world today?