Movie Premier at The Museum


WHO: The Smithsonian and The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum

WHAT: The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace to Host a Screening of the Documentary Soul Of A People: Writing Americas Stories

WHEN: Saturday, September 26, 2009 – 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum, Wytheville, VA

National strife was everywhere. Much of the population was unemployed, starving, and suffering abounded. People looked to their leaders for relief. Sounding like a modern day scenario, the time in question happened during Franklin Roosevelt’s Presidency. Though often controversial, Franklin’s New Deal programs employed many. One such program was the Federal Writer’s Project, which is the subject of a recent Smithsonian Channel documentary called Soul Of A People: Writing Americas Stories.

The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Foundation and Museum will have a special screening of this documentary at their museum (145 East Main Street, Wytheville) on Saturday, September 26, starting at 4:30 p.m. Though the museum features history pertaining to Edith Bolling Wilson, First Lady and second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, A Soul Of A People, specifically relates to Woodrow Wilson’s dream of humanizing “every process of our common life.” By providing a variety of ways for people with various skills to survive and even prosper during the Depression, The Writer’s Project, which employed 6,600 people in all 48 states, fulfilled Wilson’s vision. The project originally was to create guide books for the various states, but ended up documenting humanity at its best and its worst. The latter caused much controversy for the program.

“We feel this is very poignant to current events and perhaps by paying attention to our past, we can learn from those patterns to create positive change for our present and future,” said Leslie King, executive director of the museum.

The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Foundation and Museum is featuring the screening in celebration of Smithsonian Museum Day, in which the Wytheville museum is a participant. On September 26, Smithsonian Museum Members are invited to over 900 museums throughout the United States, free of charge. Since the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace is open free to the public everyday (donations welcomed), the Museum felt that offering the screening  of A Soul of A People on Smithsonian Museum Day would be a way to welcome both Smithsonian Museum Members as well as the general public.

The screening of A Soul of a People will take place on Saturday, September 26 at 4:30 p.m. All are invited to attend this free event, but seating is limited.  To reserve a seat or for more information, please call 276-22-EDITH (276-223-3484) or email The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum is a tax exempt nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and is located at 145 East Main Street in Wytheville, VA.  The museum is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 to 5:00.  Please visit

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