The popular belief that President Woodrow Wilson's wife ran the government after her husband's devastating stroke in 1919 is "pure nonsense," according to a historian at Princeton University.

History Professor Arthur Link, editor of a series of volumes of Wilson's papers, said the 64th volume, to be published in February, will prove that Mrs. Wilson served as a liaison but was not effectively an "acting president" in Wilson's final year in office."It is a popular belief, but it has gotten more into the realm of legend than scholarship," said Link.

Edith Wilson did make two crucial decisions following Wilson's stroke, Link said. She covered up the extent of Wilson's illness and thwarted suggestions that he resign.

Link said Mrs. Wilson long denied being an acting president and once told him she was "never interested in politics."