Edith Wilson


The case could be made that the United States had its first female U.S. president a century ago. That’s because the First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson technically served as acting president after her husband, Woodrow Wilson, suffered a stroke in October of 1919, halfway through his second term. (Wilson was U.S. president from 1913 to 1921). Following the stroke that left him partially paralyzed, Edith stepped up and screened all matters of state and was the decision-maker who determined which matters needed to go to her bedridden spouse. Interestingly, she began serving this vital role before U.S. women received the right to vote on August 18, 1920.

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