Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type





At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918, the fighting that had raged across Europe, destroying millions of lives and devastating a continent, ceased with the signing of an armistice. Life continued for the troops in their trenches and transports, the people on the home front in their workplaces and parlors, and the statesmen in their offices and meeting places, but the world had changed instantly around them. The physical fighting was over, but the diplomats and politicians were mobilizing. They were deployed to the peace conference, where fighting was carried out with words and pens, secret meetings, and friendly discussions over brandy and cigars. While most countries sent ministers, ambassadors, diplomats, and advisors, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, felt there was no one who could represent America more skillfully or with more dedication than he could. He chose his own advisors and assistants, and without regard to the wishes of the Senate or historical precedent, the president traveled to Europe to personally negotiate the Treaty of Versailles. Wilson arrived in Paris ready and willing to promote his progressive and idealistic views, and most importantly, his Fourteen Points and the drive to include his League of Nations in the treaty.