Born on April 13, 1743, Thomas Jefferson is best remembered as the author of the Declaration of Independence. But Jefferson's interests and talents covered an amazing range. He was also a two-term president, diplomat, architect, violinist, inventor and a founder of the Democratic Party.
Clay Jenkinson, "one of the nation's leading interpreters of the life and achievements of Thomas Jefferson," performs costumed first-person portrayals of Jefferson on stage and radio. You can listen to his weekly national radio show "The Thomas Jefferson Hour" (you'll need the free RealAudio player), or visit the bulletin board and chat room devoted to Jefferson and his ideals. The best way to navigate is via the site map you'll find near the upper right-hand corner. Teachers and homeschoolers will appreciate the lesson plans and project ideas found on the Especially for Young People page.
History.com's Thomas Jefferson exhibit is part of their American Presidents series, and my multimedia pick of the day. Highlights include an eight-part biography (from Early Life to Notable Staff), a timeline, an image gallery, and transcripts of his two inaugural speeches. My favorite clicks are found in Video Gallery and Quiz. "Who did not help draft the Declaration of Independence: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, or Benjamin Franklin?"
Jefferson's first use of the name "Monticello" for his Virginia plantation appears in his August 3, 1767 Garden Book entry: "inoculated common cherry buds into stocks of large kind at Monticello." In 1809, Jefferson retired from politics and returned to Monticello for a life of family, reading, writing, farming, entertaining, science and philanthropy. What was life like back then? Find out by joining Jefferson on a typical (but virtual) Monticello day (look in the Jefferson sub-menu). Be sure to also visit About Us/Special Projects, where you'll find "Getting Word," an online exhibit exploring the oral history of the Monticello slaves, and a variety of lesson plans.
"Our plan was that we were going to make Jefferson human, that this film was going to get past the icon and bring the man alive." This site documents the making of Ken Burns' 1996 PBS film "Thomas Jefferson." Included are discussions of the relevance of Jefferson's legacy, and a photo gallery exploring the meaning of the much-quoted phrase "the pursuit of happiness." What does "the pursuit of happiness" mean to you? View the photos of three award-winning photographers, as well as those of the student winners of the Pursuit of Happiness Photo Contest.
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." This collection contains over 2,100 quotations from Jefferson's writings. It is easily navigated from the Table of Contents, or by the search function located above the Table of Contents. Note that the spelling and punctuation of these quotations has been modernized. In Jefferson's time, commas were used much more liberally, a practice distracting to the modern reader.