Tag Archives: Thomas Jefferson

Republicans Are From Mars, Democrats Are From Venus

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“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” – Thomas Jefferson

We are a polarized country. The 2016 presidential campaign saw the popular vote go to the Democratic candidate while the electoral vote went to the Republican. Now, two weeks after Republican Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, the two sides seem further apart than ever with neither listening to the other. They are shouting past each other on a daily basis.

The lack of understanding from both sides reminds of the very popular 1990s novel, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” that explored the differences between men and women.

I was talking with a friend today about the state of current politics, noting that I had never seen the country so divided. And then I stopped, thought a moment, and said, “But when George W. Bush was elected, everyone was polarized, and then it continued into Barack Obama.” And she said, “I wrote a paper in college [for her political science class] on how polarized the country was at that time.”

That was in the 1980s.

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Back in the homeschool classroom: Thomas Jefferson’s quote

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                           Monticello. Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell)

By Lynn R. Mitchell

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”
– Thomas Jefferson to William Hamilton, April 22, 1800

During the years I served as newsletter editor for Parent Educators of Augusta County Homes, I would often use quotes, and one of my favorite was the one above by Virginia Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.

While these days it means more for political reasons, during my days in homeschool leadership it pertained more to our religious differences. Among those who had made the decision to educate their children at home were a wide range of religious beliefs. If we concentrated on those, we would devolve into disagreements about how the group should run and narrow our focus from the group’s purpose.

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The Declaration of Independence

Declaration of IndependenceIN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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Monticello: Free grounds admission Saturday 9-2:00

By Lynn R. Mitchell

SATURDAY, MAY 2, AT MONTICELLO:
PANEL WITH TOM BROKAW — UPSTAIRS TOURS —
MULBERRY ROW OUTDOOR EXHIBITION

Please join us to commemorate our progress on the Mountaintop Project, a multi-year effort to restore Monticello as Jefferson knew it, and to tell the stories of the people—enslaved and free—who lived and worked on the 5,000-acre plantation.

Explore new restoration work upstairs and on Mulberry Row that offers a better understanding of this historic landmark as a plantation and family home.

FREE grounds pass from 9 am until 2 pm. Learn more about May 2 events here.

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Civil Rights leader Rep. John Lewis speaks at Monticello, receives Jefferson Medal

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) was keynote speaker at Monticello’s commemoration of Thomas Jefferson’s 272nd birthday. (Video of birthday ceremony including the congressman’s remarks here.)

Lewis received the 2015 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership that recognizes contributions in architecture, law, and citizen leadership, qualities that Mr. Jefferson held in high esteem. As a young man 50 years ago, Mr. Lewis was a civil rights activist with 600 other activists who took part in the Selma-to-Montgomery march that was recently commemorated in Selma with President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, both of whom he mentioned in his remarks.

From UVa President Teresa Sullivan: “The University of Virginia is proud to celebrate these leaders, who truly embody the ideals and spirit of Thomas Jefferson. These recipients not only exemplify premier talent in their fields, but also, like Jefferson, they provide essential leadership for our world in the areas of architecture, law and citizen leadership.”

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Gardens of Monticello, Spring 2015

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????The gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello on his birthday, Monday, April 13, 2015.

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Free admission to grounds for Thomas Jefferson’s birthday at Monticello

Monticello 5By Lynn R. Mitchell

Monticello celebrates Thomas Jefferson’s 272nd birthday Monday with a 1000 a.m. ceremony on the West Lawn and free admission to the grounds. Admission to the house requires purchasing a ticket. The keynote speaker will be Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) who was the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership.

It’s spring on Monticello’s mountain with early season flowers and garden plants. The weather is supposed to be in the mid-70s and partly sunny so it will be a good day to commemorate the anniversary of Mr. Jefferson’s birth.

Photo from Monticello

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December Sunday adventures through historic Virginia

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and $5 admission … great time to visit the home of America’s third President! We decided it would be the start of our colonial loop through a tiny part of our historic Virginia because, after all, that’s what history nerds do. Right?

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The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 2 … Monticello $5 admission, ‘White Christmas,’ Shakespeare, Nutcracker

Monticello at ChristmasBy Lynn R. Mitchell

1) Monticello at Christmas

Experience the Colonial Virginia celebration of the holiday season at the home of Thomas Jefferson, open today from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with 1987 admission prices of $5.00. That’s a big savings over the usual $18 for adults and $8 for children. Children younger than 6 are free.

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Monticello Holiday Classic 5K & Deck the Halls Kids Dash this Saturday

Monticello 4By Lynn R. Mitchell

A gracious and prolific entertainer, one can just imagine that Mr. Jefferson would approve of the fun taking place on his mountain. Join in the festivity and fun during the 4th Annual Monticello Holiday Classic 5K and Deck the Halls Kids Dash this Saturday, December 6, from 7-9:00 a.m.  (See map.)

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Monticello’s local residents receive discounted admissions year round

Monticello at ChristmasBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Residents local to Monticello outside Charlottesville, Virginia, receive the year round Local Discount admissions to Thomas Jefferson’s mountain home.

From Monticello:

Local adult residents always get the off-season rate for any adult Monticello Day Pass or Family Friendly Day Pass during the peak season. Also, locals always get in for free when bringing a paying adult guest!
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July 4, 2014 … Staunton and Virginia helped create American independence

American flags against a cloudy Shenandoah Valley sky.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s the anniversary of America’s independence and in Staunton, as in other small towns across America, our patriotism is displayed with fireworks and red, white, and blue bunting and American flags and a parade through Gypsy Hill Park as we fire up the grills and celebrate with family and friends.

At Staunton’s Frontier Culture Museum, admission is free as costumed interpreters go about the business of an old fashioned Independence Day. Meanwhile, the traditional Naturalization Ceremony will be held at nearby Monticello where visitors again visit for free.

Most importantly, the 4th of July provides an opportunity to reflect and be thankful for those who gave us the freedom we enjoy.

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4th of July at Monticello’s Naturalization Ceremony

Monticello 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

What a wonderful opportunity for Americans but especially for those of us who live practically in the shadow of Monticello … and it’s free! An all-American Independence Day seems perfect spent at Mr. Jefferson’s house overlooking Charlottesville….

Join us July 4th! A moving Naturalization Ceremony,
a Jeffersonian Open House, free walk-through tours
of Monticello, musical performances and more

There is no place more inspirational to celebrate the Fourth of July than Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence.

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Natural Bridge: Virginia’s newest state park once ranked as natural wonder of New World

Natural BridgeBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Natural Bridge. Once owned by Thomas Jefferson , it’s located right here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and is now a state park. Political reporter Bob Stuart has details about the official dedication that took place Monday with Governor Terry McAuliffe and other officials.

Reporter Annys Shin wrote in the Washington Post:

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