What We Should Celebrate About Thomas Jefferson On His 267th Birthday!

Today, April 13, is the 267th Birthday of Thomas Jefferson, our most brilliant President, and one of the greatest of all the Founding Fathers!

This is the man who wrote the primary draft of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which promoted his basic principle of separation of church and state.

This is the man who helped to found a political party opposition, the Democratic Republicans, in the 1790s.

This is the man who promoted a philosophy called “liberal” at the time, but is now seen as “conservatism”–limited national government and strict interpretation of the Constitution. However, as President, he abandoned much of this concept and endorsed Alexander Hamilton’s stronger national government and broad interpretation of the Constitution!

This is the man who served as Governor of Virginia, Ambassador to France, Secretary of State, Vice President, and President (1801-1809), and doubled our land via the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 from Napoleon’s France.

This is the man who kept us at peace when he realized that we could not defeat the nation he had long despised, Great Britain. I am referring to the Chesapeake Affair.

This is also the man who owned slaves, and was always a maze of contradictions, which has made interpreting him extremely difficult. One can both agree and disagree with what he said and did.

But what one cannot do, legitimately, is decide to write Thomas Jefferson out of the textbooks of history, or to knock him down to a minor role in American history, which unfortunately, is what the Texas Board of Education has been doing in its once a decade review of what should be taught and emphasized in the publication of new textbooks for students. It is a disgraceful distortion of history, and really promoting lies and myths, to deny the greatness of our third President!

We must continue to honor the man whose memorial stands proudly on the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC! While not perfect by any means, there is no debate that Thomas Jefferson was a GREAT man who deserves our respect and consideration as a major factor in American history!

2 comments on “What We Should Celebrate About Thomas Jefferson On His 267th Birthday!

  1. John Salyers April 13, 2010 9:49 am

    Here here! Jefferson IS one of the most interesting men in history. True, he had his faults, like all men. But that’s what makes him all the more fascinating. Last year I read TWILIGHT AT MONTICELLO by Alan Pell Crawford. It’s a book about Jefferson’s life after the Presidency. Deep in debt after decades of service to his country, he chose to focus on the creation and administration of the University of Virginia, because he felt that education was key to the future of America.

    Those who choose to leave him out of the story of America do a great disservice to themselves and their future generations.

  2. Ronald April 13, 2010 4:06 pm

    You are absolutely correct, John! πŸ™‚ Imagine that he founded the very BEST Southern public university, and one of the top universities in the entire nation! We have not found anyone to match Jefferson in pure brilliance! As President Kennedy said when he hosted winners of the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes at the White House: Tonight we have more intellect and brilliance in the White House than at any other time except when Thomas Jefferson dined alone! Amen to that! πŸ™‚ And therefore, any attempt to make Jefferson less studied and acknowledged as a great man is a crime against education and intelligence itself! πŸ™

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