December 28th marks the birthday of President Woodrow Wilson, ​who served as Commander in Chief of the United States through World War I. Wilson had a lot of radical ideas for his time—like lowering tariffs and attempting banking reform—but one of his most radical views was his devotion to eugenics. During his presidency, Wilson even signed into law an act that permitted forced sterilization of the “degenerates” that eugenics hoped to stamp out. This seems outrageous by today’s standards, but of course Wilson was not the only president to say, do, or believe some pretty surprising (and in some cases, downright terrible) things, as you’ll see from the following shocking presidential quotes:

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Abby Norman
Abby Norman
Abby Norman is a writer based in New England. She's currently writing a memoir for Nation Books. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Hippocampus Magazine, The Atlantic, The Mary Sue, and Quartz.
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