Posts Tagged ‘history’

miss_moneypenny_by_lois_maxwellIf you are not up on your James Bond trivia, Miss Moneypenney was Bond’s “Girl Friday”. She’s been missing from the Blond Bond films as of late, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed hoping for her reappearance. During her long career in Bond films, Moneypenney has been played several actresses such as: Lois Maxwell, Caroline Bliss, Samantha Bond, Barbara Bouchet, and Pamela Salem.

Jane Moneypenney served as the assistant to the veritable “M”, and although the flirtation between the two did not exist in any of Ian Fleming’s books, Moneypenney is known to filmgoers for her verbal sparring/flirting with rascal known as 007. And while there’s a certain endearing comic relief to the character, she certainly is not as interesting as the dames who inspired her.

As with all things Ian Fleming, Monneypenney actually has a basis in real life. In this case, it appears that Moneypenney is speculated to have been based on either a single person or is a conglomeration of the many women in Fleming’s life. So let’s run down the suspects:

Kathleen Pettigrew: the formidable (read: terrifying) assistant to MI6 director, Stewart Menzies, during and after WWII, who can best be described as a “…grey-haired lady with the square jaw of the battleship type”.

Vera Atkins, (one of our favorite SOE dames) who was technically an assistant to Colonel Maurice Buckmaster (one the reported inspirations for “M”, Bond’s boss), but Atkins was a damn important figure in her own right.

Another possible candidate is Margaret Priestley who administered the 30 Commando Assault Unit during WWII (think Navy Seals with some serious Intel collection training). She actually shied away form any public connection to Ian Fleming and the Bond character of Moneypenney.

Other likely candidates are either Jean Frampton, the dear lady who typed Ian Fleming’s manuscripts and whom  apparently never met the man (although their letters to each other recently fetched a pretty penny at auction), and finally, Joan Bright Astley whom Fleming dated during WWII. Astley was the dame who organized the Special Information Center for Winston Churchill during the war and was also renowned for her “social skills” with high ranking officers.

So who is the real Miss Moneypenney? Your guess is as good as mine, but honestly, the moon-eyed secretary doesn’t strike any resemblance to the hard-core dames of the British Intel community, and given the sappy love-struck secretary of the Bond films, if I was one of the reported ladies of inspiration for the character, I’d distance myself far from her.

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countessmarkieviczandchildrenConstance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) daughter of the famous Arctic explorer Sir Henry Gore-Booth, made a name for herself by jigging her way out of her father’s shadow and becoming the Matriarch of Irish female insurrectionists.

Constance was born in London to a famous father who owned a large estate in County Sligo Ireland. Sir Henry was an odd-duck for his time as he was compassionate to the plight of the Irish during the worst of the Potato Famine. Sir Henry’s ideology deeply affected Constance and her sister Eva. Eva later became a leader in the labor and suffrage movements in England, while Constance eventually took up the cause of Irish freedom.

What led Constance to forward her regard for the Irish poor to the need for Irish freedom might have something to do with the company she kept. Constance fancied herself an artist and had many artistic friends, most notably, William Butler Yeats, who later wrote a poem dedicated to the Gore-Booth sisters.

What many may not realize is the nationalistic ideas and movements were long fostered in the Irish arts community. The arts were a means of keeping the culture alive and be it poetry, song, or plays, it was one of the few venues the Irish had to voice their outrage over the conditions in which they were subjected to.

po13_t01Constance joined this community with dreams of becoming a painter. She studied in Dublin for a time before moving on to France. All the while becoming involved in political movements regarding labor, suffrage, and equal rights. I was during her time in France in 1901 that Constance met and married Count Kazimierz Dunin-Markiewicz, a Polish Aristocrat who conveniently was also a painter and playwright. This was obviously a shot-gun marriage as Constance gave birth to a daughter shortly thereafter.

The Markieviczs moved to Dublin in 1903 becoming one of the mainstays in artistic circles. Through these circles, Constance became involved with the Gaelic League, an organization devoted to preserving Irish culture and language and served as incubator to the future leaders of Ireland, such as Douglas Hyde, future first president of a free Ireland.

By 1908, Constance had all but left a life of art behind and led a life devoted to Irish politics and attaining Irish freedom. And proving that you can take the girl out of the royal carriage but you can not take the royalty out of the girl, Constance turned up for her meeting of women’s revolutionary movement in a ballgown and tiara. True story.

The fun stuff really begins when Constance set her tiara towards taking down Winston Churchill in a parliamentary election. She showed up to Parliament in a carriage drawn by four white horses just to make a spectacle of it. She lost of course, but the effect was powerful. The suffragists were able to split the Churchill vote and thus give the election to another opposition candidate.

Mugshot of Countess Markievicz

Mugshot of Countess Markievicz

The deeper Constance embroiled herself into the cause, the more radical she became. In 1909, she founded Fianna Eireann, a paramilitary training corps for Irish teenage boys.  Constance also was arrested for speaking in favor of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and for protesting the visit of King George V in 1911. When workers suffered a lock-out for protesting against police brutality, Constance paid for food to feed families out of her own pocket and started local soup kitchens. In fact, Constance eventually sacrificed nearly all of her own wealth in support of the cause.

The long strain of Republicanism on Constance’s marriage took its toll by 1913 when her husband moved to the Ukraine never to return to Ireland. By 1916, Constance was fully immersed in planning and execution of the Easter Rising. Constance put down her tiara, picked a gun and served as second in command at the St. Stephen’s barricade, one of many encampments through the six-day long siege of the city.

Constance dug trenches, set up barricades, actually shot a British solider, and refused surrender until she received a copy of surrender orders from the the top command.

Of the 70 women arrested during the uprising and serving as “guests” at the Kilmainham Gaol, Constance was the only to be placed in solitary confinement. She further sassed her captors at her court-martial and when her sentence of death was commuted on account of her gender, she replied to the court: “I wish your lot had the decency to shoot me.”

Politics being what they are and the swell of support that arose from Irish Catholics to the government response of the Eater Rising, Constance was released in 1917. Shortly after, Constance renounce her Anglican faith and converted to Catholicism.

In 1918, Constance was jailed again for anti-conscription shananigans. While in jail, however, Constance was voted into the British House of Commons under the Sinn Fein party. The first women ever elected. As a part of general protest, she refused to take her seat.The first Dail Eireann convened in 1918 declaring Ireland a free republic and generally kicking off the Irish War for Independence.

1968-countess-markievicz1

Constance served in government, most notably as labor secretary, until 1922 when Eamon de Valera, Constance and other followers resigned in protest over the passage of the Anglo-Irish Treaty which formally separated North and South Ireland.

A major turn-about occurs in 1923, when Constance, re-elected to government yet again, refused to take her seat and participated in other activities considered detrimental to the new Irish state. She was jailed, again, and led 92 other women in a hunger strike.

Constance kept her foot in the door of Irish politics until her death in 1927 at the age of 59. Years of working in Dublin poorhouses more than likely exposed her to tuberculosis listed as the official cause of death. Her estranged husband returned from abroad and was at her side when she died.

Eamon de Valera provided her eulogy. Sean O’Casey, the famous Irish playwright, provides the most memorable quote about Constance:

“One thing she had in abundance—-physical courage; with that she was clothed as with a garment”.

March is a month near and dear to this Agent’s heart. Hailing from a hard-core Mick family (and not of the Only-On-St.-Patrick’s-Day varietal), March is a month of cultural celebration and a sort of history month of relatives past.

You’re going to be reading a lot about the Irish ladies of the Spy-Dame variety in the next 30 days, so I suggest you hunker down with a good Shamrock Shake and brace yourself.

Cumann Na mBan Constitution

Cumann Na mBan Constitution

The Cumman Na mBan (Irish Gaelic for Women’s League) was formed in April 1914 as an organizational off-shoot of the Irish Volunteer force in the early days of the Irish War for Independence. Though the men would condescendingly refer to it as a “ladies auxiliary” they forgot to read the fine print of the group’s constitution which supported the brandishing of arms (read: guns) and the encouragement of armed insurrection, which is exactly what came to be.

Recruitment was fairly democratic and members of the Cumann Na mBan hailed from white collar professions, well-to-do families and working class backgrounds.  Women were trained in medical care, what we would today refer to as signals intelligence, and performed drills with weaponry as it was available.

Of Cumann Na mBan’s exploits, the most famous is the participation of no less than 40 members in the infamous Easter Rising of April 1916. Skirts armed with guns entered the General Post Office in Dublin alongside the men and can be counted among most of the strongholds the rebels took throughout the city by the end of the day. I write “most” because Eamon de Valera, rebel leader and future President of Ireland, refused to allow women to fight alongside his own self out of the some misguided attempt of chivalry…or chauvinism…take your pick.

(I think de Valera had a highly mistaken notion that the oppression of the English over last 800 years had only affected the Irish men-folk)

Woman wearing Cumann Na mBan uniform

Woman wearing Cumann Na mBan uniform

And the ladies didn’t just sit along on the sidelines feeding the men. Women acted as scouts, gathering intelligence of British troop movements, and couriers, transferring messages and arms across town to various encampments. More than a few of the dames also acted as snipers at locations such as St. Stephen’s Green and Dublin Castle.

And of course, many women of Cumann Na mBan also died during the fighting.

Of the 70 women arrested for the Easter Rising, more than half were of Cumann Na mBan. They served as “guests” of the British government at the notorious Kilmainham Jail for their efforts.

Following the Easter Rising, Cumann Na mBan was a galvanizing force in the community raising relief funds for families of the Easter Rising participants. They also entered the political process as they campaigned fr the Sinn Fein in the 1918 elections in which Countess Markiewicz, one of their most esteemed members, was elected Teachta Dala. Countess Markiewicz, a captured Easter Rising participant, was in prison during this time.

For the duration of the war, members ran safe-houses, collected arms, served in local government, and ran the Irish Bulletin, the official newspaper of the Irish Republic.

Following the end of the war, Cumann Na mBan members were highly vocal in the vote against the 1922 Anglo-Irish Treaty with Britain that resulted in the separation of Northern and Southern Ireland. 419 of 482 voting members passed ballots to negate the treaty which, unfortunately came to pass regardless.

Members on the march in 1916

Members on the march in 1916

The group continued the cause for Irish freedom and associated with other groups such as Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army and the Fianna Eireann that sought the unification of Ireland. However, the government had other ideas and banned the organization in 1923, imprisoning suspected members in Kilmainham Jail.

The Cumann Na mBan still exists. Over the last 20 years or so, the group aligned or dis-aligned itself with various Irish paramilitary organizations that sought to “continue to the cause”. Numerous leaders have been caught and jailed for gunrunning amongst its more common activities. In 2000, the British Government officially listed the group as a terrorist organization, as of 2008, the US government has yet to follow suit.

I received a heads up from a reader (thanks, 2blake2) regarding a Spy Conference being held in Raleigh, NC next March and I admit, I eagerly clicked the link to take a look.

So let me now just say how utterly disappointed I am.

Yes, I realize, the organizers are using sex to sell their product, but there’s a few people speaking at the conference whose work I respect and frankly, the respect levels plummet when they involve themselves in an enterprise selling female participation in the spy-trade under the banner of Sexpionage.

As I have written previously, that term, as it applies to women, and is used to sum up the female experience in intelligence, is insulting.

I am not at all trying to express that this is a topic not worth exploring, but the problem is most people view this as the only topic when it comes to women in intelligence and it effectively ends any further discussion. Women using sex as tradecraft is an extremely small sliver of a much larger pie. Yeah, let’s forget all the broads who contributed as inventors, managers, operatives, radio operators, cryptanalysts, analysts, etc. Forget that these dames jumped out of airplanes, brandished weapons, performed acts of sabotage, found it necessary to take a life or two, or sacrificed their own lives in the process.

Just because a precious few gals of the whole  used their female lucky charms as a means to an end, they are the only ones seemingly worthy of comment time and time again (wishing there was an emoticon for sarcasm presently) while the rest of the bunch is routinely ignored.

I could rant on and on about the overt misogyny of a conference speech of this nature, but what’s the point? The organizer seems like an aware fellow who usually puts on an interesting event but he really ought to get a clue (or a hundred) about the ladies.

gercarreMathilde “The Cat” Carre (1910-1970) was a French double agent during WWII. Carre makes for an interesting study in that her treason is based on nothing more than self-preservation and possibly the desire for a long hot bath.

Carre was born in France, educated at the Sorbonne, became a school teacher, married, and moved to Algeria. Pretty uneventful stuff. War soon broke out and Carre’s husband was killed during the campaign of Italy.

Carre returned to France as a nurse just in time for it to fall to the Germans, took up with a Polish military officer, and joined the Franco-Polish resistance movement of the Interallie. Carre proved very useful in being able to determine and size and location of Luftwaffe and SS Panzer divisions in the region. Some say it was Carre’s green eyes and shapely gams that got her intel from German officers in her area.

Carre was taken prisoner by the Germans during a catastrophic decision to recruit a female into the Interallie who turned out to be a double-agent for the Abwehr. Carre herself was turned into a double-agent and released back into the field.

Carre, still believed to be a trusted member of the Interallie, was summoned to London with a cohort. The Abwehr believed they were about to get their chance to infiltrate the infamous British SOE, but Carre was instead arrested and imprisoned during the duration of the war where she served her time as an informant against other detainees.

After the war, Carre was sent back to France to face trial. She was initially sentenced to death but eventually had her sentence commuted to 20 years. She was released in 1954, penned a book, “I Was Called the Cat”, in efforts to explain her side of the story, and passed away 1970.

During her trial, the prosecution read from Carre’s diary: “What I wanted most was a good meal, a man, and, once more, Mozart’s Requiem.” Interesting. We view treason through the lens of money, ideology, compromise, and ego, but this hints at something more. Fatigue.

Certainly, Carre was compromised into turning double agent, but that implies something that is still against her will and I think Carre’s will was long gone. With her husband dead and her country devastated, Carre strikes me as someone so demoralized that she became bent on doing whatever she perceived it took to just get the war over with and she had given up caring which side won.

Too bad really. Carre was called “The Cat” because of her elegant manueverings and stealth like ways of gathering intel. Perhaps a more concerted effort at sublimating that demoralization might have resulted in an entry celebrating this dame’s accomplishments instead of writing about a lady who gave up, gave in, and turned coat.

velvaleedickinsonVelvalee Dickinson (1893-1980) sounds like a name more befitting a Wisconsin cheese heiress than a WWII spy, but a spy she was and her undercover monicker of “The Doll Woman” is highly appropriate for this broad’s shenanigans.

Velvalee was born in Sacremento, California and educated at Stanford University. In the mid 1920’s, Velvalee went to work at a brokerage company in San Francisco where she met future husband, Lee. Velvalee became involved in social work which brought her into close contact with the Japanese community there. She became a member of the Japanese-American Society (fees paid by a Japanese Attache, thank you), well-entrenched with visiting members of the Japanese military and government, and hosted numerous soirees in her home for said same folks.

The Dickinsons moved to New York City in 1937 where Velvalee opened a doll shop specializing in rare and antique dolls. It was here, well under radar, that Velvalee conducted her treasonous activities.

dickinson_store1Velvalee used her doll shop as a front to send secret communiques, more specifically, steganographic messages, around the globe reporting on military activities and position. And example of an actual message: “Doll in a hula skirt is in the hospital and doctors are working around the clock”, which translated to “Light cruiser USS Honolulu is badly damaged and in Seattle undergoing around the clock repairs.”

The language of dolls apparently served up a myriad of ways certain activities could be discussed in front a casual observer without drawing too much attention. However, this was WWII. The government had a cadre of cryptanalysts on payroll examining the mail of everyday citizens and this is what led to Velvalee’s discovery.

The dame was busted by a piece of returned mail.

velvaleedickinsonfeb221942letterYup, she sent one her “letters” to Buenos Aires, but the intended recipient had moved on and the letter was returned to the US where it was intercepted by wartime censors. Thinking the correspondence was a little fishy, the censors passed it along to the FBI where it ended up in the capable hands of our favorite cryptanalyst, Elizebeth Friedman, and the rest is history.

The subsequent investigation uncovered all sorts of correspondence that had been bouncing around the country under a variety of different names in dozens of cities, but all traced their way back to Velvalee. The FBI uncovered her connections to the Japanese government in San Francisco and New York, about $25 thousand in payments made to Velvalee, and then they really went to town.

Velvaless was indicted in 1944 under a number of various charges and like the stand-up gal she was, she promptly blamed it all on her late husband who has passed away in 1942. However, medical records proved her husband’s lacked the mental faculties at the time in question due to a prolonged illness, and then the gig was up.

Maintaining her innocence until the end, Velvalee was sentenced to a ridiculously short amount of time in federal prison and was released in 1951, disappears from radar in 1954, and all we’re left with in the end is her date of death in 1980.

I came across this article today regarding a female student’s lawsuit against the famed Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut.

Miss Porter’s is a 165 year old institution noted for such venerable students like Jackie O and Gloria Vanderbilt.

Painting of the Oprichnik for use in an opera

Painting of the Oprichnik for use in an opera

The suit is based on the harassment of said student by a group of girls who referred to themselves as the “Oprichniki“. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it was the name given to the Russian secret police squad under the command of Ivan the Terrible in 16th century Russia.

Aside from feelings of revulsion and outright disgust, I find this whole story fascinating on a number of different levels. Obviously, I fail to understand women undermining other women. If one of us gets ahead, we all get ahead and I believe that sisterhood will further our united cause, so female bullying rather gets this Agent’s Irish up sort to speak.

Okay, rah-rah feelings aside, what really interests me about this story is that the history of the Oprichniki is not solely attributable to a guy. It is believed by a great number of scholars that it was the second wife of Ivan the Terrible, Maria Temrjukovna, that founded the idea of this brutal organization most noted for the abduction, imprisonment and subsequent torture of the Czar’s internal enemies.

Secret police have been used throughout history as a way of those in power retaining their power. They gather intel on real and potential enemies and then neutralize these enemies through such methods as impalement, throwing “offenders” in vats of boiling oil,  and being drawn and quartered, to name a few choice methods.

Makes you rethink the whole idea of Hell’s fury in relation to women feeling put-out.

Also makes me wonder about a group of high school girls referring to themselves in such a manner and what this means to society as a whole.

320px-elizebeth-friedman1Elizebeth Friedman (1892-1980), in three words: What A Broad.

Elizebeth was one-half of the Dynamic Duo of Friedman and Freidman. Although married to the reknowned cryptographer William F. Friedman, Elizebeth was quite the crypto-dame in her own right and is often to referred to as the America’s first female cryptanalyst.

Let me first say that I could spend this entire entry musing about the type of love letters the Friedmans sent to each other (D197%6 B9G#!& = Dearest Billy), but it’s time to get to work:

Elizebeth was born the youngest of nine children in a Quaker family. She graduated college with a degree in English Literature although she dabbled in quite a varied amount of other subjects. She was fluent in German, Latin and Greek.

After graduating college and trying to find herself via the public education system, Elizebeth was to drawn to a job at the Newberry Library in Chicago presumably for its Shakespeare collection of which Elizebeth was quite the aficionado.

However, a brilliant secretary performing the initial interview for the job, directed Elizebeth instead toward George Fabyan. Fabyan is credited with having the first private think tank dedicated to cryptology in the nation. He immediately hired Elizebeth to work at his facility Riverbank, in Geneva, Illinois, where Elizebeth worked on a project attempting to prove Sir Francis Bacon as the true author of “Shakespearean” work. The belief was that Bacon enciphered the work and by decoding the works, one could discover the Bacon’s identity.

Interesting sure, but hardly the good stuff. It was during Elizebeth’s five years at Riverbank that she met and eventually married her husband, William, a fellow and brilliant cryptographer. However, the outbreak of WWI and the creation of MI-8, the US Army’s Cipher Bureau, inspired the Friedmans to jump ship and head to Washington. DC proved to suit Elizebeth well.  She worked for US Naval intelligence which led to a stint at the Treasury Department and it was there that Elizebeth really began to shine.

Remember that the 1920’s were the time of Prohibition. Elizebeth put her smarts to the task of deciphering communiques, via both written and radio-communicated messages, between smuggling rings. During her tenure our gal-pal was responsible for solving over 12,000 messages. All done by training a cadre of cryptanalysts and by staying abreast of improved deciphering techniques and the subsequent hardware that was being developed which kept her one step ahead of the game.

But her career wasn’t all busting rum-runners and smugglers. Among her many exploits, Elizebeth created a security system for the International Monetary Fund, was responsible for breaking the code on notorious American spy Velvalee Dickinson (more on that dame later), and broke Chinese codes for the Canadian government despite the fact she didn’t even know the language. That’s one hell of a career right there.

But not the end of Elizebeth’s story. After retiring from government work, Elizebeth and William returned to their work on Shakespeare eventually publishing the definitive book arguing against the idea of Sir Francis Bacon being the real author of the works.

William passed on in 1969 and Elizebeth set to work compiling their career worth of papers into a stunning collection of cryptographical works. She passed along herself in 1980 in New Jersey.

Okay, so here we go with the second departure from writing about the dames, but it is certainly for a good cause and it is related to themes of this blog….

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The National Women’s History Museum in Washington DC is in need of a permanent home. Apparently those in government do not recognize the need for studying the history of women and do not appear to be so hot for the cause.

This museum is a very necessary entity in our nation’s capital for one simple reason: when it comes to history, we ignore the broads and the amazing stuff they do. For whatever reason, the stories of women do not get written down, rarely get studied, and truth be told, the only things I learned in grade school about women’s history is that Betsy Ross sewed a flag, Elizabeth I was the queen of England, and George Washington’s wife was named Martha.

It’s fairly ridiculous to tell a girl she can be anything she wants (except president of the United States apparently) when history does not reflect or recognize the accomplishments of the dames. Our nation’s history is incomplete and you can not call yourself an educated skirt or suit when you only receive half the story.

The National Women’s History Museum has been in flux for 12 years since its inception in 1996. They have chance at a permanent home where the National Museum of Health used to be but legislation is required to make this happen.

And for purposes of this blog, they do have cyber exhibit on American female spies.

So c’mon, do us all a big favor, go to the website, contact your representatives, and help a sister out.

225px-edith_wilson_cropped_2In honor of Election Day, I am going to devote this entry to all things presidential. Edith Wilson (1872-1961), second wife of Woodrow Wilson and First Lady of the United States from 1915-1921, is remembered by a number of titles including “The Secret President” and “The First Lady to Run the Government”, but I like to think her as the “Unofficial First Female President of the United States”. The ultimate Decision Maker.

The Bolling family hailed from the great Commonwealth of Virginia during colonial times. Edith herself descended from a fantastic line of people including Pocahontas and George Washington. The daughter of a judge, Edith grew up a proper Virginian lady, married a prosperous jeweler, Norman Galt, and lived a comfortable life in Washington DC. After the death of newborn son in 1905 and the unexpected death of her husband in 1908, Edith was a widow for 7 years before being introduced to President Woodrow Wilson through a cousin and marrying him after a very brief courtship.

With Wilson being 58 to Edith’s 43 years, Edith spent the majority of their marriage trying to keep her husband in good health under the strain of the presidency during World War I. Edith lost that battle and Woodrow had a stroke in September of 1919.

Not trusting the Vice President, Thomas Marshall, to assume control, Edith immediately cut off all access to her husband. All communications went through Edith who then decided what to present to Woodrow and what not to present and delegate elsewhere. This is where thing get interesting. According to Edith, as written later in her memoirs, she claims not to have made a single decision and insists every thing was passed by Woodrow for him to decide.

edith_wilsonNow this is matter of much debate. Many medical experts claim that due to the severity of his stroke, Woodrow Wilson would not have been in any condition to make any decisions. It is due to this assumption that many consider Edith to responsible for the numerous diplomatic errors during Woodrow’s confinement.

So let’s consider this. If Edith did in fact pass everything by her husband that she deemed important, that’s still a highly influential act. We all have biases and prejudices that affect our judgement and Edith would be no different during her “screening process”. What she deemed unimportant and delegated to someone else may have had sweeping consequences. That person may have had radically views from her husband and may have approached whatever was passed on to him in a completely different manner. To the level of which this happened we’ll never know.

The hope of all intelligence analysts is that the Decision Maker understands what the hell they are trying to brief them on. Edith was obviously a well-educated women, but you still have to wonder what exactly came before her during that time and how much she really understood.

But I’m not going to go as far as to say this is a bad thing. Yes, the first Lady is not an elected official. But look at the amazing women who have been First Ladies. Given their intelligence, their acumen, their experience of having lived a life of politics, well, let’s just say that Abigail Adams or Eleanor Roosevelt certainly would have had no problem getting my vote.

As we know, Woodrow Wilson died three years after leaving office. Edith herself passed on at the ripe old age of 89 in 1961, the same day that the Woodrow Wilson Bridge was to be dedicated in Washington DC.