World in Brief: Screentest

All the president’s ideals

The World Today Updated 7 December 2018 Published 4 October 2013 1 minute READ
Woodrow Wilson who shaped the world after the Great War. Photo: Stock Montage/Getty Images

Woodrow Wilson who shaped the world after the Great War. Photo: Stock Montage/Getty Images

Warner Bros is interested in making a biopic of Woodrow Wilson, the president who sent US troops to fight in the First World War, to be based on a new biography, Wilson, by A. Scott Berg. Leonardo di Caprio is understood to be keen to play the 28th President whose contested legacy has much resonance today. Here are six facts from his life:

  • He didn’t learn to read until he was 11.
  • He went from President of Princeton University to the White House in two years, never having fought in a war, served in any legislature or having had success in business.
  • During his presidency the 63rd Congress passed the first private-sector eight-hour working day legislation, abolished child labour, reformed banking laws, instituted a graduated income tax and the first federal inheritance tax and established the Federal Reserve.
  • He was the first US president since Emancipation to establish a policy of racial segregation within the federal government.
  • He resisted the efforts of women to gain the right to vote until his daughters persuaded him otherwise.
  • He spent the last 17 months of his presidency almost entirely confined to his bed, the state of his health unknown to the public.