Meet President Thomas Jefferson

I don’t know whether other countries share this tradition with their respective historical figures, but here in the U.S. we have a delightful tradition of people –scholars in many cases— who take it upon themselves to embody and reenact the lives and ideas of the Founding Fathers for the benefit and the education of the general citizenry, to give them an opportunity to get acquainted with or reminded of the principles upon which this great experiment in self-government and liberty was originally established.

Of all the Founding Fathers, I find Jefferson to be the most philosophically interesting, perplexing and admirable (despite his personal flaws), and I don’t think I am alone in that judgment. When welcoming a group of Nobel prize winners, John F. Kennedy once remarked that the White House had never seen so much talent pooled together simultaneously… with the possible exception of those occasions on which Thomas Jefferson dined alone :)

Here is Bill Barker, of Colonial Williamsburg, masterfully portraying President Jefferson and sharing some historical wisdom on this most enigmatic of Founding Fathers.


Don't forget to visit the Founding Fathers tag.

You should also listen to The Thomas Jefferson Hour, with Clay Jenkinson, every week. Ask your local public radio station to play this essential show on history and civics if they don't broadcast it already.
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