Thomas Jefferson’s 270th Birthday
For more photos commemorating Thomas Jefferson’s legacy, check out the location pages for his home, Monticello, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) holds a key position in the history of the United States as one of the nation’s Founding Fathers. As the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, the nation’s first Secretary of State, second vice-president and the third president of the United States, his legacy still echoes forward to this day.
During his presidency, Jefferson oversaw the Louisiana Purchase, which expanded the United States by 828,000 square miles (2,144,510 square km). He also commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition shortly thereafter to explore the newly acquired territory over the course of two years.
In his personal life, Jefferson was also an Enlightenment figure with strong interests in science, invention, architecture, religion and philosophy. These interests led him to found the University of Virginia and design his own plantation mansion, Monticello.