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.
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.
Fridays and Saturdays: Guided tours of Fort Harrison, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 540-879-2616.
Clarks Ole Time Music Center, located at Clarks Lumber Co., 1288 Ridge Road. longtime Friday-night tradition of old-time music and dance from 7:30-10 p.m. Admission: $8 per person, $15 per couple. For more information, call 540-377-2490.
Meet at the Lexington Visitor Center. Every Friday at 3 p.m., from April through November. Rain or shine. No reservations required. Wear comfortable shoes. For more information, call 540-463-3777.
Behind the 7-Eleven store at I-81 interchange. Fridays from May 13 through October from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 540-740-3432 or visit newmarketvirginia.com
412 W. King St. Rabbit Saves the Day, Based on the story Sody Sallyratus. Runs Sept. 10 through Oct 30, every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Doors open 12:40 p.m. Pre-show activities. Admission: $6 for ages two years and older, under age two admitted free. For more information, call 304-258-4074 or visit www.wondermentpuppets.com
103 S. Main St. Julie Clay: Abstract Notions. Runs through Sept. 30. Free admission. For more information, call 540-442-8188 or visit www.oasisartgallery.org
128 East Martin St. Rock Of Ages. Community Theatre productions. Shows on Sept. 23, 24, 25, 30, and Oct. 1 and 2. For more information, call 304-263-6766.
Belle Grove Plantation Manor House 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, Va. History at Sunset: The Long Gray Trail: History of the Valley Turnpike. The route played a critical role throughout the entire history of the Shenandoah Valley, including during the Civil War. Park ranger-led program and car-caravan tour of park. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe
Wilson Hall Auditorium. Feet Don`t Fail Me Now. Tap dancing, brass band music. Part of JMU Family Weekend. For more information, visit www.jmuforbescenter.com
Loudoun St. Walking Mall. Meet guide at 2 N. Cameron St. Hosted by Old Town Winchester. Every Friday through October, excluding Aug. 19, and Oct. 14. Reservations required. Admission: $5. For more information, call 540-542-1326 or visit www.visitwinchesterva.com
9357 N. Congress Street. My Fair Lady. Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 14-16. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit www.schultztheatre.com
95 Chalmers Ct. Guitar Masters Series concert, featuring Pat Donohue. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit barnsofrosehill.org
780 University Blvd. Frances Plecker Education Center and Tree Terrace. Sept. 23 and Sept. 24. Monday, Sept 26 - Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Selection of easy-to-grow bulbs, perennials, trees and shrubs. Admission: $20 per person. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum
Memorial Hall. Ninth year. Runs through Dec. 14, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artwork by local public and provide school students in all grades. Supported by JMU College of Education. Free admission.
Smith House Galleries 311 S. Main St. Wood Fired Ceramics. Works by John Jessiman, Randy Edmonson, Cricket Edmonson, Steven Glass, Robert Barnard, Takuro Shibata, Hitomi Shibata, and Sukjin Choi. Runs through Sept. 30. Gallery hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. For more information, visit www.valleyarts.org rg
336 Belle Grove Road. Ranger-led program. The Long Gray Trail: History of the Valley Turnpike. Car caravan tour. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe
101 Maury River Drive. Sept. 26-Oct 2. For More Information, call 540-261-7321 or visit www.glenmaurypark.com
95 Chalmers Ct. Pat Donohue. Fingerpicked guitar, interpretations of old blues, swing, rhythm and blues, and original tunes. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets: $15 in advance until 3 p.m. on the day of event, $20 at the door. Ages 12 years and below are free when accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit www.barnsofrosehill.org
116 North Queen St. THeavy Metal Juried Railroad Art show runs through Oct. 1. Wide range of media and techniques that celebrates the diverse rail heritage in the United States. Closing reception on Oct. 1 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m., artist reception and gallery talk by artist and illustrator James Mann. For more information, visit www.berkeleyartswv.org/artworks
10 S. Market St. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com m.
Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, 620 Millwood Ave. A musical adaptation of the seminal play, Spring Awakening reveals the angst and frustration of teenage life. Free admission. For more information, call 1-800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu/performs
15 N Loudoun St. Billy Thompson Band. For more information, visit www.brightboxwinchester.com
521 W. Main St. Kid Pan Alley, performed by local elementary school students. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.waynetheatre.org
Meet at Staunton Visitors Center. Guided trolley and walking tours. Year-round. For more information, call 540-208-1741 or visit www.stauntonguidedtours.com
Gray Gallery, 43 S. Cameron St. Guide Lines exhibition runs from Aug. 5 through Sept. 10. For more information, visit www.the-gray-gallery.com
Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main St.Two-hour, guided car-caravan tour led by ranger vehicle: Chronological interpretation of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Stops at key landmarks. Presented by Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit nps.gov/cebe
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.
Stoney Man Mountain is the highest point in Shenandoah National Park, overlooking the town of Luray and Page County.