Thomas Jefferson Foundation Chronology

The following is a basic chronology of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, beginning with its incorporation in 1923.[1]

Contents

1923

  • The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation purchased Monticello from Jefferson Monroe Levy, whose family had owned the property since 1834.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation officially incorporated in New York City to purchase, preserve, and maintain Monticello as a memorial to Thomas Jefferson and his ideals.
  • Stuart G. Gibboney named president of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, and the launching of the Foundation announced at a celebration at the University of Virginia.

1924

  • National Jefferson Centennial Committees established.
  • "Monticelleans" earned title and lifetime pass for contributions of $1,000 or more.
  • "Monticello Papers" sold in Entrance Hall.
  • Jefferson Week (April 6-13) observances initiated in schools.
  • Spiritual pilgrimage to Monticello held in Grand Central Station, New York.
  • Road to entrance of house constructed.
  • Repairs to terraces and supporting stone walls begun.
  • Roof repaired, house painted, and trees treated by Davey Tree Expert Company.
  • Garden Club of America invited to advise on restoration of gardens.
  • Fiske Kimball named chairman of restoration committee.
  • Local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution provided hostesses (July-October), and Benjamin Carr and Oliver Johnson named guides.

20,091 visitors; $.50 admission fee.

1925

  • National Education Committee established to promote restoration of Monticello and to spread Jeffersonian ideals.
  • Jefferson birthday celebration held with descendants of signers of Declaration of Independence.
  • "Boys" Jefferson Centennial Election with pilgrimage to Monticello.
  • "Girls" Jefferson Centennial Election with pilgrimage to Paris

1926

  • Centennial Year Programs included: "Patriots' Pledge of Faith" campaign kicked off by President Calvin Coolidge, and bill signed to create commission for the Sesquicentennial of American Independence and the Thomas Jefferson Centennial Commission of the United States; $35,000 contributed by New York City school children; Shadwell marker erected; "Religious Freedom" fund established by Felix Warburg; Jefferson gig pilgrimage to Philadelphia; Jefferson Centennial Day celebrated July 4th at Monticello.
  • The "Monticello Shop" opened in room beneath south terrace.

1927

  • Monticello illuminated by the largest search light in the world.
  • Great Clock repaired.
  • "Redecorating" of first floor completed.

49,446 visitors

1928

  • First mortgage paid off.
  • "Patriots' Pledge of Faith" campaign revived for a celebration of Jefferson's birthday in public schools.

1929

  • Plaque unveiled at 57 Maiden Lane in New York City by the Home Insurance Company to commemorate Jefferson's residence there in 1790; event included the Monticello Guard and Jefferson's gig.
  • Fund-raising card party held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
  • Thomas Edison elected as the first Nation's Guest of Honor by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation as a tribute to outstanding service in "science, art, education, literature, or government."
  • Mulberry Row barn (Jefferson's stable) "restored."
  • Stone house on Mulberry Row (superintendent's house) remodeled.

1930

  • Plan to celebrate Jefferson's birthday as "religious freedom day" approved by President Herbert Hoover and room at Monticello dedicated to this principle.
  • Descendants of Marquis de Lafayette visit Monticello.
  • Rear Admiral Richard Byrd elected the second Nation's Guest of Honor

1931

  • Celebration of Freedom of the Press Day, and room at Monticello dedicated to this principle.
  • Interior of main house painted.

1932

  • Financial plight led to refinancing of bonds and an appeal to newspapers and publishers for funds.
  • TJMF headquarters on 115 Broadway closed and moved to rent-free space on 70 Pine Street.

1933

  • Celebration held with Future Farmers of America, and room dedicated to their ideals.
  • The Benevolent Protective Order of Elks donated funds to erect a flag pole.
  • Claude Bowers honored as first "modern" biographer of Jefferson.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission created by Congress.

1934

  • Second floor of Monticello dedicated to the Daughters of the American Revolution.

1935

  • New entrance-exit road completed with funds from Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Public Roads.
  • National Park Service bill proposed to acquire Monticello; federal takeover seen as financially prudent at this time, but advantages of continued private ownership by "public-spirited citizens" gained precedence.
  • The Civilian Conservation Corps helped clear woods around Monticello.

1936

  • July 4th speech given by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at Monticello.
  • Treillage wallpaper pattern discovered in North Octagonal Room.
  • House interior painted based on paint analysis by Milton Grigg, architect.
  • The Virginia Emergency Relief Bureau provided free labor for general improvements.

1937

  • Curtains, alcove beds, and bedspreads added.

80,513 visitors

1938

  • Restoration of the North Pavilion, dependencies, and terrace begun.

1940

  • TJMF officially declared debt-free.
  • Garden Club of Virginia provided funds to restore East and West Lawn.
  • Resolution introduced in Congress to celebrate the bicentennial of Jefferson's birth.

1941

  • South pavilion, dependencies, and terrace restored.

1942

  • Reports completed on the reconstruction of the terraces, painting, reinforcing floors, and road construction.
  • Funds appropriated for archaeological excavations at Shadwell.
  • Administrative offices established at Monticello in the Weaver's Cottage and North Pavilion.

1944

1945

  • "Area around Monticello" proposed as permanent site for the United Nations' Organization

1946

  • First year over 100,000 visitors

1947

  • Need for more parking, extension of roads, and new gift shop addressed
  • Interior of house repainted on the occasion of President Harry S. Truman's visit and July 4th speech

1948

  • 136,751 visitors; $.75 admission fee

1950

  • New gift shop building approved for construction on Mulberry Row

1951

  • Women employed for first time to serve as hostesses, and training program implemented
  • First year over 200,000 visitors

1952

  • Ticket sales moved from gift shop to enlarged gatehouse

1953-54

  • Monticello temporarily closed for structural repairs and the installation of a modern heating and air-conditioning system
  • Restoration of Jefferson's library collection begun

1955

  • James A. Bear, Jr., named the first full-time resident curator and Report of the Curator begun
  • Staff numbered forty full-time employees
  • Dome and upper roof restored
  • Levy dormers removed and skylights installed
  • Spring Board meeting moved from New York City to Monticello

1956

  • Monticello stamp issued ($.20)

1957

1958

  • The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation professorship and fellowship programs established at the University of Virginia
  • Annual essay contest in local schools initiated, and a U.S. bond awarded as the prize
  • Thomas Jefferson Silver exhibit at the Bayly Museum of the University of Virginia
  • Archaeological excavations done at the site of the vegetable garden retaining wall
  • Stone house on Mulberry Row remodeled
  • 237,020 visitors; $1.00 admission fee

1959

  • Exhibition Monticello in Pictures, 1770-1959 held at Alderman Library at the University of Virginia

1960

  • Monticello designated National Historic Landmark

1962

  • The Life Portraits of Thomas Jefferson exhibition held at the Bayly Museum of the University of Virginia

1963

  • Shadwell purchased
  • Archaeological excavations done on Mulberry Row
  • Second roundabout surveyed, and a topographic map of area within fourth roundabout proposed
  • U.S. Naturalization Service ceremonies begun at Monticello on July 4th
  • 270,039 visitors

1965

  • First guidebook approved for publication
  • First year over 300,000 visitors

1966

  • Wine cellar "restored"

1969

  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation headquarters moved from New York City to Monticello
  • Master site plan presented to deal with ever-increasing visitation
  • 383,692 visitors; $1.25 admission fee

1970

  • Shuttle station construction begun

1973

  • 50th anniversary of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation celebrated with exhibition History of Monticello since 1826 and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation at Alderman Library, University of Virginia
  • Monticello invited to be placed on the Virginia Historic Register
  • House at Tufton purchased
  • Nature trails opened from shuttle station and return via picnic area, east road, north spring, and graveyard
  • Director's house completed and occupied
  • 519,032 visitors; $2.00 admission fee

1976

  • National bicentennial celebration and record number of visitors: 671,487
  • President Gerald R. Ford delivered July 4th speech
  • Queen Elizabeth II visits Monticello
  • Restoration plans for gardens and grounds presented
  • Restoration of grained doors begun
  • Research library catalogued

1977

1978

  • Howard Rice, Jr. donated research material on late eighteenth-century France upon completion of his award-winning Thomas Jefferson's Paris
  • Mulberry Row section of the first roundabout established
  • Research report and program for the restoration of the vegetable garden terrace, orchard, vineyard, berry patches, and nursery submitted

1979

  • Archaeological excavations begun on the vegetable garden terrace
  • Grove created

1980

  • Hostesses became guides with the employment of the first male guide
  • First outside grant (National Endowment for the Humanities) used to assist archaeological excavations
  • South orchard created
  • 461,850 visitors; $3.00 admission fee

1981

  • Kitchen refurnished
  • Archaeology exhibit installed in cellar room

1982

  • Archaeological excavations focused on Mulberry Row

1983

  • Removal of parking lots from mountaintop begun
  • Ticket office moved to shuttle station

1984

  • James A. Bear, Jr. completed thirty-year tenure and Daniel P. Jordan named executive director of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation
  • Garden pavilion dedicated
  • Recreation of vegetable garden terrace completed
  • Garden tours begun
  • 507,174 visitors; $4.00 admission fee

1985

  • Northeast vineyard restored
  • Commemorative ceremony held in honor of the Levy family
  • Summer seminar, archaeological field school, and "Jefferson and Monticello" class begun in conjunction with the University of Virginia
  • Western Virginia Bicentennial Center became the Monticello Visitors Center

1986

  • Education Department established
  • Center for Historic Plants created
  • Thomas Jefferson at Monticello exhibit installed at the Visitors Center (designed by Ralph Appelbaum)
  • Gift shop expanded to include warehouse and new shop in Visitors Center
  • Last section of first roundabout restored

1987

  • Monticello named to the United Nations' list of World Heritage Sites
  • Research Center established
  • Visitor Services Department created
  • School programs established
  • Garden shop opened

1988

  • Master Plan I adopted
  • Development and Public Affairs Department created
  • Restoration Department created
  • Mail-order catalogue established
  • First modern grape harvest and winemaking
  • Self-guided tours offered at Visitors Center
  • 561,781 visitors; $7.00 admission fee

1989

  • State Dinner held with President and Mrs. George Bush, and fifty-three governors
  • Garden and Mulberry Row brochures published
  • Saturdays in the Garden program introduced
  • Oculus glass installed in dome room
  • Operations Department created
  • Work begun with Trust for Public Land to protect viewshed

1990-92

  • Thomas Jefferson and the Pursuit of Liberty film completed, and award received
  • Monticello newsletter revitalized
  • Monticello Cabinet established
  • Roof restoration completed
  • North orchard replanted
  • Section of garden paling fence recreated
  • African-American advisotry panel formed
  • Historic Structure Report completed

1993

  • Jefferson's 250th Birthday commemorated with exhibition The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson
  • President William J. Clinton began inaugural procession at Monticello
  • President Mikhail S. Gorbachev presented speech for Jefferson's birthday celebration
  • Historic American Buildings Survey drawings completed
  • Monticello Monograph series revitalized
  • Southwest vineyard restored
  • Getting Word oral history project revitalized
  • Plantation community tours and weekends begun
  • Entrance Hall floor painted grass green, and South Square room painted an indigo blue distemper
  • 622,137 visitors; $8.00 admission fee

1994

  • International Center for Jefferson Studies established at Kenwood
  • Thomas Jefferson commemorative coin minted
  • Nursery exhibit created
  • Mail-order plants made available through Twinleaf
  • Elderhostel program started
  • The Jefferson Moment campaign - the first fundraising effort since the 1920s - announced
  • Endowment policy adopted

1995

  • Mulberry Row trees replanted
  • Archaeological excavations begun at Betty Hemings site
  • Family workshop programs created
  • First Foundation-sponsored travel program (France)

1996

  • Monticello's heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system upgraded
  • World Wide Web site created
  • Ground-breaking of Kemper Park and of the Thomas Jefferson Parkway

1997

  • Master Plan II adopted
  • Monticello Plantation Archaeological Survey begun
  • Archaeological excavations begun at the Monticello home farm quarter
  • New guidebook published
  • Catalogue operations expanded
  • Center for Historic Plants inaugurates its biennial Historic Plant Symposium
  • 561,306 visitors; $9.00 admission fee

1998

  • 75th anniversary celebration of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation
  • Corner terraces and Venetian porches restored
  • Pew Charitable Trusts gave $2 million to move retirement years of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson to the Foundation for editing and publication
  • Facilities planning begun

2000

  • Archaeology department awarded a $600,600 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create the Digital Archaeological Archive of Chesapeake Slavery (DAACS)
  • Ground broken on the new Jefferson Library at Kenwood
  • Foundation officially changes its name to Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.

2001

  • Edward W. and Betty Knight Scripps Foundation establishes an endowment for Monticello's annual July 4th event
  • Thomas Jefferson Foundation lecture series established at the University of Virginia
  • Cook's room restored

2002

  • Jefferson Library dedicated on April 13, 2002
  • Saunders Bridge completed

2003

  • Lewis & Clark expedition bicentennial celebration held at Monticello
  • Thomas Jefferson Parkway dedicated
  • Redesigned Monticello website launched

2004

  • TJF purchases Montalto
  • First volume of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series published

2005

  • Retirement Series editors launch companion Family Letters Project site
  • Jefferson Library receives $140,140 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the Thomas Jefferson's Libraries Project
  • Monticello's kitchen restored to its appearance ca. 1809
  • Foundation publishes Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance
  • Monticello introduces AcoustiGuide tours
  • Monticello Explorer launched

2006

  • Thomas Jefferson Foundation presented with the Mary Mason Anderson Williams award by Preservation Virginia for "exemplary preservation efforts"
  • Construction begins on new visitors center
  • Monticello initiates online ticket purchases

2007

  • Ice house given new roof
  • Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia launched

2008

  • New Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center opened
  • President George W. Bush speaks at July 4th ceremony
  • President Daniel P. Jordan retires, and new president Leslie Greene Bowman begins

2009

  • Jefferson Today website launched

2010

  • Dining Room painted chrome yellow
  • "Crossroads" exhibit opens
  • Monticello Reserve Ale developed in partnership with Starr Hill Brewery

2011

 

- Text for years 1923-1998 from Rebecca L. Bowman, "A Chronology," in Celebrating Seventy-Five Years of Preservation and Education: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Inc., 1923-1998 (Charlottesville, Va.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1998), 20-25.  Additions by Anna Berkes, June 14-15, 2011.

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