Woodrow Wilson: His Cold on the Front Page

On what must have been a slow news day, the President's cold was front-page news in the New York Times on Dec. 12, 1913 1 SEE BELOW -- underneath a story about the 70-pound weight loss achieved by former President William Taft.
The full New York Times story is provided below 1.

Notice the article's mention of the fever and, immediately afterwards, the statement that Wilson's condition is not serious. This is a reminder of the dread and horror that simple fevers caused in the era before antibiotics were available. A person could be vigorous and healthy one day, develop a fever, and be dead a week later. Antibiotics have changed the lives of human beings to a degree that few other inventions have. Anyone who professes great faith in "natural" remedies would be well advised to remember that for 2 million years it was very natural to rapidly die from a bacterial infection.


His Cold Returns, with Some Fever, and He Is in Bed.

Special to The New York Times.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 -- After two or three days of apparent recovery, President Wilson to-day went back to his bed with a bad cold. It was said that his cold had brought on a slight fever, but his condition was not serious.

The President addressed a meeting of the American Red Cross yesterday, but afterward he was so hoarse that he could not keep his engagement to address the Chamber of Commerce of Rochester by long-distance telephone.

The President's physician, Dr. Cary Grayson, visited his patient several times, and insisted upon the President keeping to his bed for the day and to his room for several days to come. As a result all engagements were canceled. It is not expected that the President will be about again before Monday.

Mr. Wilson slept during the late afternoon. He was reported to-night to be resting comfortably and feeling much better.

While the President denied himself to visitors, Secretary Tumulty had a busy day at the executive offices. Among his callers were Roger C. Sullivan, Democratic National Committeeman of Illinois; Thomas P. Riley, Democratic State Chairman of Massachusetts, and W. J. Connors of Buffalo, former New York State Chairman, who came to talk politics of their respective States.

Cited Sources
  1. Anonymous. President Wilson Ill Again. New York Times. December 12, 1913; Page 1.

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