This 1934 $100,000 gold certificate bearing the face of President Woodrow Wilson was the highest denomination ever issued by the United States. According to the National Museum of American History, which holds the certificate:
During the early 1930s, the United States and the rest of the industrialized world experienced an economic depression. In 1934, the United States continued its movement toward removing its currency from the gold standard. It even became illegal to possess gold coins or gold-based currency until Congress relented somewhat for collectors. The Gold Certificate Series of 1934 poses a slight puzzle since the United States was off the gold standard by 1934. The $100,000 note shown here was not intended for general circulation but was used as an accounting device between branches of the Federal Reserve.Sorry, numismatic fanatics: according to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, it can’t be legally held by currency note collectors.
Via the National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
“The hand of God is laid upon the nations.” - Woodrow Wilson, Fifth Annual Message, December 4, 1917
Things got a little rowdy last night.
President Woodrow Wilson watches the takeoff of the first scheduled airmail plane
On May 15, 1918, the Post Office Department began scheduled airmail service between New York and Washington, D.C. (with a stop in Philadelphia, Pa.).
Congress appropriated $100,000 in 1918 (PDF) to be used in establishing experimental airmail routes. The pilots and planes were courtesy of the War Department and its Army Signal Corp; the Post Office argued successfully that carrying the mail would provide valuable flying experience to student flyers.
From The National Archives
Lose a bet, walk a donkey
B.H. Anderson, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of Butler, Pennsylvania, was so convinced that Theodore Roosevelt would win the presidential election of 1912 he made a bet that if Roosevelt lost, he would walk either a donkey or an elephant (depending on whether the winner was Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson or Republican candidate William Howard Taft) from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon.
In this picture, held by the Library of Congress, Anderson stands at the corner of Fore Street and Exchange Street in Portland, Maine, with his donkey already outfitted for the 1916 election.
He set off on March 4, 1913 - the inauguration date of President Not Roosevelt (Woodrow Wilson). Part of the bet stipulated that he would stop by the White House and pay his respects to the winner, which, according to a newspaper article unearthed by Flickr user Richard Norton, he did on July 21, 1913.
So, really, the only question is: what would he have walked if Socialist Eugene Debs won?
In 1916, former New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes campaigned for the presidency on the Republican Party ticket against incumbent Democratic President Woodrow Wilson.
A moderate Republican with the support of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who nicknamed Hughes “the Bearded Iceberg,” owing to his reserved nature, Hughes lost to Wilson in a close election, separated by only 23 electoral votes and less than a million popular votes.
Legend says Hughes went to sleep election night certain he’d won the election. A reporter who phoned the next morning for a reaction to Wilson’s victory was told Hughes was asleep. The reporter replied, “Well, when he wakes up, tell him he isn’t the president.”
Charles Evans Hughes button from Heritage Auctions, HA.com
The illustration is by Udo J. Keppler, son of renowned satirical cartoonist Joseph Ferdinand Keppler. Udo was cartoonist and editor for Puck Magazine, co-founded by his father. The work originally appeared as a centerfold in Puck on July 24, 1912.
The Chicago Day Book indulged in a little gloating in the aftermath of Woodrow Wilson’s victory in 1912.
From the archives of Chronicling America
Great Welcome Extended to the President in England
“The President and Mrs. Wilson in Buckingham Palace, photographed in company of King George, Queen Mary and their daughter, Princess Mary.”
From “The War of the Nations: Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings,” published by the New York Times shortly after the 1919 armistice.
Library of Congress Flickr