Thomas Jefferson Day

(Also known as Thomas Jefferson's Birthday)

Thomas Jefferson Day is observed next on Saturday, April 13th, 2024 (42 days from today).

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Thomas Jefferson Day is an annual holiday on April 13th in order to honor the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who was born on April 13, 1743.

National Thomas Jefferson Day is celebrated on April 13 every year. The date is observed to honor the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743. It is an annual national legal celebration on April 13. Thomas Jefferson was the lead author of the Proclamation Declaration of Independence of the United States and also the country's first secretary of state, second vice president. It is believed that he had an extensive library of nearly 6,500 books. He is also a lawyer, agricultural scientist, paleontologist and astronomer. He was always an inquisitive and an interesting person to study.

Learn about Thomas Jefferson Day

As the name indicates, Thomas Jefferson Day has been designed to pay homage to and remember the former President of the United States. Thomas Jefferson Day has brought people a lot of different things; however, most people will realize his most important accomplishment, the signing the Declaration of Independence.

This is not only a day for recognition by everyone in the United States, but we can also use Thomas Jefferson as an inspiration to read more and learn more about a number of different areas of his interest.

Perhaps it is not surprising to learn that the former President has an extensive library. In fact, it contains 6,500 episodes! Reading is often a popular pastime of Presidents, and so the day can be used to encourage people to learn more about world history through reading.

In fact, academically, Thomas Jefferson had an impressive track record. He is a scientist in astronomy, paleontology and agriculture, and a lawyer. He also keeps detailed weather records. These are all the inspirations for Thomas Jefferson Day.

We're sure this will help you come up with various activities you can enjoy on this day to pay tribute to the former President. If you are a teacher or you have children, you can also use the former President's education and interests to create some educational activities for your child.

History of Thomas Jefferson Day

Thomas Jefferson, the founding father of the United States, was born on April 13, 1743. He held many roles and accomplished many in the nation's formative years, including becoming the primary author of the Declaration Independent and the third president of the country. He wrote an epitaph of his own, highlighting what he most wanted to be remembered for: "Here is the AUTHOR'S THOMAS JEFFERSON'S DECLARATION OF VIRGINIA SITUATION DEPARTMENT FOR RELIGION FREEDOM AND PARENTS OF VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY."

Thomas Jefferson Day is a legal day, but it's not a holiday. April 13th was chosen as “Birthday of Thomas Jefferson" each year because there was a joint resolution passed on August 16, 1937, authorizing the President of the United States to proclaim. The following year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamation 2276 to designate the date. Subsequent presidents have made similar statements. In Alabama, Thomas Jefferson's birthday is officially commemorated on Presidents Day, same as George Washington's.

The Shadwell Plantation in Albemarle County, Virginia was the place where Thomas Jefferson was born. His mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, came from a prominent Virginia family, and his father, Peter Jefferson, was a planter and surveyor. After his graduation from the College of William and Mary in 1762, he changed to start studying law. Since there was no formal law school at the time, Jefferson studied under a Virginia attorney. Until 1767, he began to work as a lawyer.

Then, on January 1, 1772, he and Martha Wayles Skelton got married. They had six children, but only two daughters lived to adulthood. After Martha’s death at the age of 33 (in 1782), Jefferson never remarried. In addition to being busy with politics throughout his life, he had many other interests, including gardening, architecture, music, and reading.

Jefferson was a member of the House of Burgesses in the colony of Virginia from 1769 to 1775. "A Brief View of the Rights of British Americans" in 1774 made him to a wider audience. It said that the British Parliament had no right to exercise rights over the colonies. Later, he was appointed as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. During this time, there was a choice of a panel including five members in order to draft the Declaration of Independence. Out of five people, including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson was selected to write the manuscript, which was passed on July 4, 1776.

In the fall of 1776, Jefferson resigned from the Continental Congress and was elected to the Virginia House of Representatives, which was formerly the Burgesses House of Representatives. In the late 1770s, he drafted the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom. It was a notable precursor to the First Amendment, and Jefferson considers it one of his most important contributions, important enough to include in his epitaph. After serving in the Virginia House of Representatives, he was Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781.

After the Revolutionary War, Jefferson was part of Congress, known as the Congress of Confederation at the time. He served from 1783 to 1784, and then became Minister of France in 1785, taking over the position that Benjamin Franklin had held. Because he was abroad, he could not attend the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

In the middle of 1789, Thomas Jefferson came back to America and became the first secretary of state. He helped found the Democratic-Republican Party, which opposed Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Party, a party that wanted a strong central government with strong economic power. Jefferson believed in a limited federal government and in strong state and local governments.

He ran for president in 1796 and received the largest number of votes after John Adams, so he became vice president. He again fought Adams in 1800, and this time defeated him. But his electoral votes were tied to the votes of his running mate, Aaron Burr, and it was up to the House to declare Jefferson president. Thus, the 12th Amendment, which provided for separate voting for the president and vice president, was ratified in 1804.

Jefferson took care as president during two terms and retired from 1801 to 1809. During his first term, in 1803, he helped orchestrate the Louisiana Purchase, in which the size of the United States doubled with the purchase of land for $15 million from France. Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on an expedition, known as the Corps of Discovery, to explore new land. With this trip, information was gathered about the geography, plant and animal life, and Indian tribes in America. During his second term, which he secured with more than 70% of the popular vote, Jefferson worked to keep the country out of the Napoleonic Wars. He implemented the Embargo of 1807 after merchant ships were harassed by France and Britain. However, it was an unpopular move because it shut down American commerce and hurt the economy; it was repealed in 1809. Jefferson did not care for a third term after his retirement in 1808.

After serving as president, Jefferson retired to his home, Monticello. "Monticello" means "Small Mountain" in Italian. Indeed, the house was on a small mountain, on the edge of the Shadwell estate, where Jefferson was born. He began clearing the area for his home in 1768. He designed the house and garden himself, and continued to work on the house throughout his life. Artworks and gadgets pervade the rooms, and he keeps a record of everything that goes on at the plantation.

During his retirement period, he still supported to found the University of Virginia. He helped design both the building and its curriculum. He also made sure it wasn't a religious school and that there wasn't religious litmus test to attend it.

In 1815, he sold his 6,700-volume personal library to Congress, to replace the books that had been destroyed by the British during the War of 1812, when they burned down the Capitol, which was the location of the Library of Congress at the time. Jefferson's books became the basis of what would become the new library of the Library of Congress.

Although Jefferson is revered as one of the founding fathers, he was not without contradictions and shortcomings. He was a liberal advocate and wrote that "all men are created equal", but was a slave owner throughout his life, during which time he owned approximately 600 slaves in total. He believed that blacks were inferior and did not think coexistence would be possible if they were free. And though he never remarried after losing his beloved wife, Martha, he went on to have more children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. Some of his bloodline slaves were freed after his death, but most of his slaves were sold.

On July 4, 1826, Thomas Jefferson died at Monticello when he was 83 years old, which was the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. As if the date of his death wasn't ironic enough, co-founder father John Adams also passed away on the same day. Thomas Jefferson died first, but Adams did not know that Jefferson was dead, and his last words were "Thomas Jefferson is alive." Jefferson is buried at Monticello. Monticello was sold after his death to pay off his debt, but a nonprofit acquired it in the 20th century and it was opened to the public in 1954.

How to Celebrate Thomas Jefferson Day

There are a number of different ways you can celebrate Thomas Jefferson Day. As mentioned earlier, one of the great ways to celebrate this day is to learn more about one of the former President's areas of education and interest. He is a very successful man and this can be a great way to inspire the younger generation.

Needless to say, learning more about the man himself is another way you can observe Thomas Jefferson Day. If you look online, you will find that there are many different books and resources that can give you all the information you need to know about the man himself.

In fact, some of the books that we would recommend you to read include:

  • Broken Friends: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon S. Wood
  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
  • Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson is written by himself, Thomas Jefferson

There are many documentaries available, so you should have no trouble finding an educational resource that can help you learn more about the great president himself!

You can also use social media to spread the word about this day and you will probably find that there are many interesting videos and info graphics about the day.


Thomas Jefferson Day has been observed annually on April 13th.


Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

Thursday, April 13th, 2023

Saturday, April 13th, 2024

Sunday, April 13th, 2025

Monday, April 13th, 2026

Founded by

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 21st, 1938

Also on Saturday, April 13th, 2024

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