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Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday

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Thomas Jefferson would be 268 today if he was still alive.  This beloved ex-President and founding father is most famously known for being the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. He negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, a treaty that doubled the size of the then United States’ territory and was married to a woman by the name of Martha Wayles Skelton.

Though arguably not as celebrated as first President George Washington, or Ronald Reagan who was the first star turned president, or Lincoln who ended the Civil War and segregation and slavery, there are still many reasons to honor Thomas Jefferson.

Here are three quirky facts about this 3rd President that you might want to know.

1. Before becoming president, Jefferson was the 1st secretary of state, 2nd vice president, and of course 3rd president of the United States.

2. As one of the founding fathers, he died on July 4th, 1826, exactly the 50th anniversary of signing of the Declaration of Independence, forever tying him to one of the history’s most important documents.

If that wasn’t coincidental enough, John Adams, 2nd president of the U.S., while sharing the office with him as his Vice President, also died that very same day. Although they had their share of disagreements back in their younger days, they had supposedly reconciled during their later years.

Fun fact: Most ironically of all, unbeknownst to Adams that Jefferson had died earlier in the day, his final words were supposedly “Thomas Jefferson survives”, which quite frankly was wrong.

Another president, James Monroe, also died on July 4th, 5 years after Jefferson’s death, making the tally of presidents who have died on Independence Day – three.

3. Thomas Jefferson was considered one of the most educated and worldly of all the Presidents, especially during his time, able to speak 6 languages: English, French, Italian, German, Latin and Greek.

Fun quote: During a White House dinner that President John F. Kennedy hosted to honor Nobel Prize winners in 1962, he famously said, “”I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

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