POLITICS

Thomas Jefferson: 5 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Our Third President

04/13/2011 01:24 pm ET | Updated Jun 13, 2011

Today, we celebrate the birthday of Thomas Jefferson.

Of course, everyone knows that Jefferson, born April 13, 1743, was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence as well as our country's third president, but you need a few more quirks and accomplishments to earn the title of "Founding Father."

So, for a different take on Jefferson's life, here are five facts you may not know about our man from Monticello.

1. He wasn't big on birthdays
Apparently, Jefferson was the "it's my party and I'll cry if I want to" type. According to historians, not a single Jefferson family document makes any reference to celebrations of Jefferson's birthday. In fact, by most indications, Jefferson actually discouraged recognizing his birthday, once stating, "The only birthday I ever commemorate is that of our Independence, the Fourth of July."

2. He was America's first Secretary of State
In 1790, Jefferson accepted the responsibility to lead George Washington's presidential cabinet, only to resign in 1793.

3. He was a "climate non-alarmist"
This, according to The American Spectator, which is celebrating Jefferson's birthday with praise for his "remarkably sane and sober" views on climate change.

4. He's on more than just the nickel
Jefferson is also featured in the U.S. Mint's $1 Coin series as well as on the $2 bill.

5. He enjoyed a good read
On June 10, 1815, Jefferson told John Adams, "I can not live without books."

Suggest a correction