WHITE HOUSE weddings have always been socko social events, and none has ever equaled the 1915 nuptials of Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt. Not only was the groom the sitting president, the bride was descended from Pocahontas, princess of America's first First Family.
Not just Washington but the world went wild. The happy couple was deluged with gifts ranging from gold nuggets through Tiffany treasures to polar bear skins. While crowds congregated around the White House, the wedding party slipped away to the bride's town house on 20th Street NW. There the knot was tied in the presence of just 50 members of the federal city's inner circle. Union Station was mobbed by well-wishers, so the couple motored to Alexandria to meet a private railroad car that whisked them away to a honeymoon in the mountains of Virginia.
The fervor and flavor of the affair are re-created in a 75th-anniversary exhibit at the Woodrow Wilson House Museum. The mansion's billiards room has been transformed into a parlor arrayed with wedding gifts and memorabilia, including Wilson's cutaway and topper and a New Guinea crown pigeon feather from Galt's velvet wedding hat.
The setting of the show, which is the first mounted by the museum in many years, is intimate and inviting. Curator Jim DeMersman says the exhibit inaugurates what will become a series of shows based on Wilsoniana that's been squirreled away in storage for many years.