President Woodrow Wilson (Photo: Library of Congress)
In September 1919 an ailing President Woodrow Wilson was faced with the possibility that the Senate might not ratify the Versailles Treaty ending World War I without substantial changes. Wilson embarked on a grueling railroad tour of America to sway public opinion in favor of his version of the Treaty, delivering 40 speeches in less than a week. He warned America that without the Treaty, ‘there will be another world war’ within a single generation. On September 25, 1919, Wilson collapsed in Pueblo, Colorado. He was rushed back to a White House sickroom but there suffered a stroke on October 2. For the five weeks Wilson’s life was in danger, his doctor and Mrs. Edith Bolling Galt Wilson kept the president isolated, but did not declare him unfit to perform his presidential duties. By November 1, Wilson once again governed the country, although he was left partially paralyzed, weak and demoralized. In March 1920, the Senate finally rejected the Treaty of Versailles.