Today At Monticello

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Marian Burros speaks to Dave DeWitt in "Thomas Jefferson, 'Founding Foodie'"

“All the stuff Jefferson was doing at Monticello is just having a rebirth now,” said David DeWitt, a food historian and the author of Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson and Franklin Revolutionized American Food.

That Pesky Billiard Table

There are a lot of stories about Monticello that crept into the lore over the years - mostly after Jefferson died, after all the family had left Monticello, and no one who had lived there during its heyday was around anymore to refute them. These stories found their way into popular literature and are still coming back home to roost, so to speak, in the form of queries from visitors. One of the most persistent of these stories is one about Jefferson using the Dome Room as a billiard hall.

Jefferson still survives, unlike the other guy

Sometimes it's a little scary how persistent apocryphal stories about Jefferson are. Case in point: the perennial (for us) question, "Did Thomas Jefferson shoot someone on the White House lawn?" There's no evidence that he did, and strangely enough, the source of this particularly bizarre story seems to be the movie Swordfish.