Lots of people ask us for recommendations for which Jefferson biography to read, but the choices are so many and people’s tastes so varied that answering this question is always a bit tricky. So I thought I’d ask the audience: which would you recommend? I’ll prime the pump with a list of possibilities (in order of publication, lest you think I am trying to suggest some sort of ranking), but feel free to write in your own candidate!more »
From the Reference Question files: “I’ve heard that Thomas Jefferson was a volunteer firefighter. Is this true?”
If I had better PhotoShop skills, I would whip up a picture of TJ wearing a firehat. You all will just have to imagine how funny that would be.
Well, now we have to be serious, because you never know when the seemingly-unbelievable story happens to be true, and then we have egg on our face if it turns out we’ve made too much fun of the story.more »
Monticello has a 30-second film spot running six times daily on the huge outdoor screen at the U.S. Pavilion of the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. The video runs daily through October and can seen by millions of Expo visitors.more »
A while ago, I was perusing the Memorandum Books, which Marie Kimball very eloquently (but somewhat over-optimistically) described as “candid tattlers of Jefferson’s every move,” when I spotted something curious.
1776 Aug. 8. Pd. Dowig for mourning ring 45/ thimble 4/6.
Guesty commentarythe increase of [federal] revenue ... hastens the moment of liberating our revenue, and of permitting us to begin upon canals, roads, colleges, &c. -- Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, May 29, 1805
Would Jefferson have supported the current health care reform? It’s hard to know.more »
So, I logged onto WordPress a few days ago, with vague thoughts of doing a semi-religion-related post, when I saw this. A sign from God? Well, at the very least, it’s a sign from Barbie dressed up as an Episcopalian minister, and that’s good enough for me.more »
National Public Radio reported yesterday on the adoption of the yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flag by Tea Party activists. They spoke to historian (and former ICJS research fellow and advisory board member) Joseph Ellis about the history of that flag and its symbolism:more »
On Friday, March 12, the Texas Board of Education approved a revised curriculum that cuts Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century. According to the New York Times, the decision may have influence beyond Texas because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks.more »
We are having some calamitous (for Virginia) weather lately - an astonishingly brutal winter altogether so far, in fact. I'm told the kids are calling it "Snowpocalypse," or "Snowtorious B.I.G." So I thought it would be nice to shamelessly mooch off some splendid research done by one of my colleagues and bring you a snow-themed post in honor of this snowy weekend; something to do for about 3 minutes while you're snowed in, or, if you are not snowed in, something to feel real good about.more »