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

Film screening at Bridgewater College

Cole Hall. Concussion. Documentary about brain damage in football players. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit bridgewater.edu


Food and Wine Tours at Old Town Winchester in Winchester, Va.

A Savory Taste of Winchester. Six different tastings will be included on each lunch or dinner tour. Evening Tours available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. Adult Tickets: $54.95 each ages 13 years and up. Youth Tickets: $32.50 each ages 8-12 years. Child Tickets: $12.50 each ages years and under. Group rates available. Reservations required. Admission: $9.99. For more information, call 540-827-9948.


Choral music concert at Shenandoah University

Armstrong Concert Hall, 702 University Dr. Conservatory Choir, Cantus Singers, Shenandoah Chorus and Shenandoah Singers perform classic and contemporary works. Admission: $15. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. King Lear performance at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Ralph Presents: lecture program at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com


Tennis lessons in Shenandoah, Va.

917 Junior Ave. Page Valley Community Tennis Association offers Tuesday and Thursday lessons, and private Lessons 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at East Rockingham High School, 250 Eagle Rock Rd., in Elkton, Va. map. Mildly competitive atmosphere. Continues through September. More information at Page Valley Community Tennis Association 917 Junior Avenue Shenandoah, VA 22849.


Historical exhibition at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Va.

I Believe in Democracy. Presidential politics from a historical perspective, comparing the 1916 U.S. presidential election. Runs through Nov. 8. For more information, visit www.woodrowwilson.org


Film screening at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

95 Chalmers Ct. American Conservation Film Festival: Best of Fest in Berryville. Film: Islands of Creation. Discussion follows. Preview of upcoming CF Festival films. For more information, visit www.barnsofrosehill.org


Bluegrass music jam sessions in Lexington, Va.

Blue Sky Bakery, 16 Lee Ave. Live bluegrass music every Wednesday morning. Bring a musical instrument to jam with, or just listen.


Farmers Market in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Orrs Farm Market, 682 Orr Dr. Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 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.orrsfarmmarket.com.


Staunton Augusta Wednesday Farmers Market in Staunton, Va.

Wharf Lot. Runs every week hrough November. Saturdays: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Producer-only market with fresh foods, baked goods, plants and more. Free parking available. For more information, visit www.safarmersmarket.com


Art exhibition in Woodstock, Va.

7 East Gallery, 123 S. Main St. Flowers, Birds and Such Watercolors by Gilda Allen. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Sunday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 540-459-7500.


Library exhibit at Waynesboro Public Library in Waynesboro, Va.

600 S. Wayne Ave. Discover Tech: Engineers Make A World of Difference. Runs through Oct. 7. See how engineers solve problems-like supplying clean water to villages, generating solar energy, or building an archway-using both high- and low-tech tools. Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 540-942-6746 or visit www.waynesboro.va.us/354/Library


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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.

Stonewall Jackson statue at Virginia Military Institute

Statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, who taught at VMI before becoming a Confederate general who fought and died in the American Civil War, gazes across the VMI Parade grounds.

About Burton R. Floyd

Burton Floyd is photographer and graphic designer in Lexington, Virginia who loves to experience and record the beauty of Virginia‘s Shenandoah Valley.

...photo by Burton R. Floyd