Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday 2018
Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday 2018 is celebrated on Friday, April 13th. It is a national legal observance every year on April 13th.
When Do We Celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday?
Thomas Jefferson’s birthday is celebrated every year on April 13th. It does not change because April 13th is his actual birthday in 1743, 275 years ago. The third President of the United States’ birthday was first celebrated nationally in 1938 after the 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, recognized it as part of the Presidential Proclamation 2276. It was also commonly celebrated before that in his home state of Virginia at the University he founded in 1819 near his home at Monticello, the University of Virginia.
Why Do We Celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday?
Thomas Jefferson is the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, our nation’s first Secretary of State and is consistently ranked as a top 10 President. He is one of the most important Founding Fathers, second only to George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and laid the groundwork for State’s rights and is seen as a founder of the modern Democratic Party along with Andrew Jackson. Jefferson began his career as a lawyer defending slaves in court who were seeking their freedom through the legal system. As President, he ended the importation of slaves by signing an act prohibiting it in 1807.
While his private life after his Presidency is controversial, including possibly fathering children with one of his slaves after his wife’s death, he is seen as an advocate for religious freedom and tolerance. Jefferson is considered a great architect as well, building his now famous home at Monticello as well as designing the University of Virginia’s main buildings.
Ironically though, Jefferson once wrote a letter to his Attorney General describing how he wished to keep his actual birthday a secret and didn’t wish to celebrate it. There are also very few mentions of birthday celebrations in his archives as historians have noted. It is often said the only birthday Thomas Jefferson ever wished to celebrate was for the country he helped create on the 4th of July.