Who’s on the $2?

Hey there, History Buffs!

If you really ARE history buffs, then you probably already know what today is—the birthday of our nation’s third president, Thomas Jefferson. An irregular president and rather intriguing man, I thought I’d share just a few facts with you about this infamous character who adorns the rare $2 bill as well as our American nickel. I’ve compiled a list of—what I think to be—this president’s most interesting qualities. Our nation's third president is also on the nickel.
It's Thomas Jefferson on the rare $2 bill

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1)    To start things off, he was nicknamed the ‘Man of the People’ as our president because of his informal apparel when he greeted visitors of the White House. He would sit to meet with powerful men of the time in his robe and slippers without concerning about his reputation—after all, he was already the president!Our nation's third president.

2)    More admirable than his love for lounging, Jefferson loved books. He loved them so much that when British troops attacked the US Library of Congress and burned all the books in 1814, he restocked its shelves when it was rebuilt a year later with 6,587 books from his own personal library. He loved to read and loved to encourage literacy across the nation.

Strange for the third president of a newborn country not to bother its inclusion on his tombstone inscription...l

3)    Last, and most interesting, is the inscription of Jefferson’s headstone: “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia.”—nothing about being the third president of a new nation. Why didn’t he bother to include his presidency? Possibly because he wasn’t sure how he felt about politics in the first place.

Yes, Jefferson had more interest in science and reading than he did politics, but, nevertheless he led our nation for two full terms from 1801 to 1809. There are lots of other quirky things you can learn about this former president (like his obsession with Mastadons, for instance, which he confused for Mammoths). Enjoy learning about ol’ Jefferson and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

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