Sadly as a History Major, I remember few historical Birthdays but Thomas Jefferson's bday is one I will never forget!
This amazing, studious, contradictory, enigmatic, intelligent, ambiguous, versatile individual is probably the main reason I even became a History Major, at the very least he seriously sparked my interest in history back in 6th grade.
Back then my 13 year-old self thought, and still thinks, that Thomas Jefferson remains a true visionary, yet he is one flawed and complicated man based on today's standards. I refrain from idolizing any historical figure, Jefferson is no exception, but I also shun the idea that people have the right to judge him based on 21st century ideals. Nevertheless, Jefferson is a fascinating character to study and based the scholarship written about him, which covers at least two book stands in my university's library, one gets the idea that scholars are REALLY trying to understand his complexity.
Based on the readings I have done over the years and visiting his beautiful home, Monticello, I come to realize that Jefferson is the representation of the best each American citizen can accomplish while at the same time represent the mental regressions we might embrace as humans.
I think historian James Parton sums up Jefferson's symbolism in American history when he said, "If Jefferson was wrong, America is wrong. If America is right, Jefferson was right." Aside from that I want to wish Mr. Jefferson a Happy Birthday for turning 274 years on this day!! #HappyBirthday #American #FoundingFather #ThomasJefferson #intelligent #visionary #history #great #interesting #historicafigure #USA #book #HistoryMajor #bibliophile #instabooks #history #ring #moonstone #library #scholar #university #Montclairnj