“We need to stop numbering these wars with Roman numerals, and use Arabic numbers,”
Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. He served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. He decided to run for president largely because he “continually had trouble finding parking in Princeton and Trenton.”
His actual first name was “Thomas”, but went with “Woodrow” because he felt that the headline “Woodrow Wilson Wins Whitehouse” had “better alliteration”. Running against Progressive Bull Moose Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt and Republican candidate William Howard Taft , Wilson was elected President as a Democrat in 1912.
In the late stages of the World War I, Wilson took personal control of negotiations with Germany, including the armistice. In 1918, he issued his Fourteen Points, his view of a post-war world that could avoid another terrible conflict. One of his points, “We need to stop numbering these wars with Roman numerals, and use Arabic numbers,” was dropped early on in negotiations.
In 1919, he went to Paris to create the League of Nations and shape the Treaty of Versailles, with special attention on creating new nations out of now-defunct empires. Another one of his Points, “All new nations should be shaped like dodecahedrons,” was unfortunately dropped, too.
Late in February,1919, while garage sale shopping with his wife (whom he affectionately called “Mrs. Wilson”, never being able to remember her first name), in Bayonne, France, the President came upon an old Nobel Peace Prize being sold along with a child’s teddy bear.
He made the purchase, being able to negotiate the price down to just 1200 francs, roughly about $24.00.