A President Ventures Abroad

President Wilson and the King and Queen of Belgium at Ypres, 1919 (Courtesy: Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library via the Commons on Flickr)

Given the international status of the United States today, the home-bound nature of the presidency during the first century-plus of the nation’s existence is hard to imagine.  The first president to venture beyond the western hemisphere was Woodrow Wilson, who in 1919 traveled to Europe at the conclusion of the First World War to participate in the negotiations that produced the Treaty of Versailles.

During his trip, Wilson and his entourage visited Belgium, touring Ypres and other areas that had been devastated by the fighting.  An anonymous photographer attached to the US Signal Corps documented the president’s tour of the war-torn landscape.  The resulting deep-focus sepia prints preserve the occasion on which Wilson first saw something of late war in which he and the rest of the nation had been engaged.

Image: from this source.
Click image to enlarge.

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