On this day 275 years ago, Thomas Jefferson, the American Founding Father, principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. President, was born. As a scientist, philosopher, farmer, self-taught architect and inventor, he was especially proud of his three years of legislative work to pass the Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia. He was conversant in French, Greek, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, and founder of the University of Virginia, unique in his time for being centered around a library rather than a church to reinforce the principle of separation of church and state. WATCH the Ken Burns documentary trailer below… (1743)
Jefferson doubled the size of the United States during his presidency, orchestrating the acquisition of the vast Louisiana Territory from France, and sent out the Lewis and Clark Expedition–and later three others–to explore the new west. Though considered the greatest US president, he did have his flaws, one being personal money management, another being slavery. As long as he lived, he expressed opposition to slavery, yet he owned hundreds of slaves to run his 5000 acre farm, and freed only a few of them. Watch longer documentaries about this extraordinary man, here.
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