Sure, you know President Thomas Jefferson as that guy on the nickel. And, if you stayed awake in history class, you’re probably aware he was our third president and helped write the Declaration of Independence. But here are some cool facts you probably didn’t know about the man who just may have been the most accomplished leader America has ever known.
7 Amazing President Thomas Jefferson Facts:
- He adored his animals: So much so that the former gentleman farmer kept a herd of 40 sheep on the front lawn of the White House. That was until one of them attacked several people
and andkilled a young boy.
- He totally would have been a regular at Home Depot: Jefferson spent forty years designing and overseeing the building of his beloved home known as Monticello. Maybe it took so long since it has 43 rooms on four floors complete with heated floors and skylights.
- In his spare time, he started a university: In 1819, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. He also designed the iconic rotunda at the school as well as the Virginia state capital in Richmond.
- Just think if he had email: The guy was a writing machine. He wrote about 19,000 letters during his lifetime, every single one of them— handwritten.
- He was a foodie and a wine aficionado: You can thank T.J. for popularizing such beloved foods as french fries, mac ’n cheese, and ice cream (vanilla was his favorite). His taste in wine was a bit more snooty. He owned two vineyards and is recognized as one of the great wine experts of early America.
- He was a techie before there were techies: Tom was an inventor who loved technology and innovation. His many inventions included a device to create and unscramble ciphered messages during the American Revolution and a revolving book stand that’s still being used today.
- Speaking of books: Jefferson owned so many that he could have opened his own library. In fact, he did. When British troops burned all the books in the original Library of Congress, Jefferson replaced them with his personal collection. It added up to almost 6,500 books. And that’s after he kept his favorites.
Somehow, along the way, he also found the time to father six kids, learn six languages and oh yeah, become President of the United States and chief author of the Declaration of Independence.
And you thought you have a busy life.