Saturday, April 14, 2007

April 13, 1743:

Thomas Jefferson's Birthday

What more to say about the Third President of the United States? Maybe he isn't the sine qua non of the United States like George Washington, but Thomas Jefferson is very nearly of the same stature.

He has his detractors, of course, and always has, but interest in him has never flagged, one way or the other. Even something as obscure (or it would be obscure, if he were not Jefferson) as his tastes in wine support a cottage industry of scholars and documentarians and even an active vineyard.

So on this occasion of Jefferson's 264th birthday, Alexis de Tocqueville has the last word on Jefferson: "The greatest democrat... America has as yet produced."

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