“Thomas Jefferson lives” said John Adams on the day they both died, fittingly on July 4, 1826, the Independence Day they both helped create exactly 50 years earlier, and today is
NATIONAL THOMAS JEFFERSON DAY!
Our most influential and admired Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson was a true Renaissance man; scientist, scholar, architect, lawyer, statesman, writer, diplomat, rebel, farmer, inventor, president and founder of universities. Impressive resumé.
Oh, and Mister All-Men-Are-Created-Equal was quite the hypocrite too. He owned slaves, only freeing them upon his death, and left behind 2 separate families, his children and their descendants from his wife, Martha Wales Jefferson, and his black children and their descendants by his slave and consort Sally Hemmings, the love of his life.
Both white and black Jefferson families for centuries had separate reunions, until recently, when they started getting both branches of the family together to celebrate their brilliant and enigmatic ancestor.
For all his flaws, Jefferson had one of the best minds of the 18th century, an age filled with great minds. He shaped this nation like no other man, writing our Declaration of Independence and doubling America’s size with the Louisiana Purchase.
•Suggested Activities: Designing your own house in your spare time.