125: In the Shadow of Power: Edith Galt, the Secret President

Hometown History

Jan 22 2024 • 27 mins

Whispers of a 'petticoat government' reverberated through the corridors of the White House during Woodrow Wilson's presidency, but how much truth was there to the rumors? It is said that for a time, the most powerful nation on Earth was steered not by the elected commander-in-chief, but by a woman no one had voted for—Edith Galt Wilson. In today's episode, we unravel the secrecy and speculation that shrouded the twilight years of Wilson's administration and explore the enigmatic role played by his second wife, Edith.

Edith's journey from a socialite widow to a 'First Lady acting as president' raises the curtain on a pivotal yet largely untold story in American politics. Following President Wilson's debilitating stroke in 1919, Edith Galt Wilson found herself in a position of unprecedented, unelected influence. Critics called her "Mrs. President," while supporters lauded her as a protective spouse preserving her husband's health and his office. We'll delve into the constitutional crises, personal trials, and political intrigues that paint the portrait of a time when a woman's command came from behind the scenes, casting a long shadow on the power structures of the day.

Time travel with us on ⁠Hometown History⁠.



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