The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
 
The presidential elections in 1916 and 2016 … were they really that much different?


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.

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History is home-made in the Shenandoah Valley
Heritage Museum in Dayton, Virginia

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.

  Happening today

Sundays on the Deck and in the Barn at Rockbridge Vineyards in Raphine, Va.

35 Hillview Ln. Uncorked and Unplugged. Music by various local artists. Bring lawn chairs. Lunch available for purchase or bring your own picnic. Family-friendly. For more information, call 540-377-6204 or visit www.rockbridgevineyard.com


Faculty Recital at James Madision University

Recital Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. JMU faculty violinist Wanchi Piitz. Lori Piitz accompanies on piano. For more information, visit www.jmuforbescenter.com


Benefit walk event at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Stomp Out Epilepsy Walk. This 5K Family Fun walk raises funds for seizure response dogs and movement monitors. Entertainment, refreshments and festivities afterwards. Hosted by Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. For more information, visit www.chelseasstomp.org


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Arms and the Man. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. Opening performance. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.


Gallery Talk program at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. African American Story Quilts. Tour the exhibition, And Still We Rise: African American Story Quilts during interactive talk. Museum members admitted free. Pre-register by Sept. 23. Walk-in admission subject to availability. All others: $10, includes museum admission. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Hite of Excellence program series at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

336 Belle Grove Road. Special events scheduled throughout 2016. Belle Grove Behind-the-Scenes. Family friendly, afternoon event. Access Belle Grove locations not regularly seen by the public. For more information, call 540-869-2028 or visit www.bellegrove.org


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About ShenandoahValley.com


You’ve just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA.
“The daughter of the stars.”

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!

Oh, and please visit our Facebook page, too.

Cedar Creek Battlefield Encampment

Each October, a Civil War living history reenactment commemorates the 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek at Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park in Middletown, Virginia.

About Hank Zimmerman

Hank Zimmerman owns and operates Shenandoah Valley Productions LLC, publisher of ShenandoahValley.com.

...photo by Hank Zimmerman