Thomas Jefferson Day celebrates the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, who was the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Learn about Thomas Jefferson Day
As the name indicates, Thomas Jefferson Day has been designed in order to pay honor and tribute to the former President of the United States. Thomas Jefferson Day is known for a lot of different things, but most people will see his most significant achievement as signing the Declaration of Independence.
Not only is this a date for people in the United States to recognize, but we can also use Thomas Jefferson as inspiration to read more and to learn more about some of the different areas he was interested in.
It probably does not come as a surprise to learn that the Former President had a vast library. In fact, it contained 6,500 volumes! Reading is often a popular pastime of Presidents, and so this date can be used in order to encourage people to learn more about the history of the world through reading.
In fact, in terms of education, Thomas Jefferson had an impressive one. He was a scientist of astronomy, paleontology, and agriculture, as well as being a lawyer. He also kept detailed weather records. These are all sources of inspiration for Thomas Jefferson Day.
We are sure this will help you to come up with many different activities that you can enjoy on this date to pay tribute to the former President. If you are a teacher or you have children, you can also use the former President’s education and interests to create some educational activities for your kids as well.
History of Thomas Jefferson Day
In order to understand a little bit more about the history of this date, we first need to understand the history of the man himself. As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France.
He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson also supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, author, inventor and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”
In his early life Jefferson practiced law and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1774, he wrote A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which was intended as instructions for the Virginia delegates to a national congress. The pamphlet was a powerful argument of American terms for a settlement with Britain. It helped speed the way to independence, and marked Jefferson as one of the most thoughtful patriot spokesmen.
As the primary author of the Declaration of Independence and a significant contributor to American political and civil culture, the Continental Congress delegated the task of writing the Declaration to a Committee of Five which unanimously solicited Jefferson to write the first draft, which underwent some alteration, but remained largely Jefferson’s work.
How to celebrate Thomas Jefferson Day
There are a number of different ways that you can celebrate Thomas Jefferson Day. As mentioned earlier, one of the great ways to celebrate this day is by finding out more about one of the former President’s areas of interest and education. He was a very accomplished man, and this can be a great way to inspire the younger generation.
Needless to say, learning more about the man himself is another way that you can observe Thomas Jefferson Day. If you take a look online, you will see that there are a lot of different books and resources that can give you all of the information that you need to know about the man himself.
In fact, some of the books that we would recommend for your reading include the following:
- Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon S. Wood
- Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
- Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson by Thomas Jefferson
There are plenty of documentaries as well, so you should have no trouble finding an educational resource that will help you to learn more about the great president himself!
You can also take to social media to spread the word about this day, and you will probably find that there are a lot of interesting videos and infographics going around on this date too.