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Bush marks 265th anniversary of birth of Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thomas Jefferson, painted by Charles Willson Peale (1791)

George W. Bush, the president of the United States yesterday marked the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

Bush speaking at the event

In the East room of the White House, Mr. Bush made a speech to mark the occasion. Mr. Bush started the speech by discussing Mr. Jefferson. "We're here tonight to commemorate the 265th birthday of Thomas Jefferson, here in a room where he once walked and in a home where he once lived," he said.

"In this house, President Jefferson spread the word that liberty was the right of every individual," continued Mr. Bush. "In this house, Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark off on the mission that helped make America a continental nation."

Mr. Bush continued his speech by claiming that "with a single sentence, Thomas Jefferson changed the history of the world." Bush continued, "After countless centuries when the powerful and the privileged governed as they pleased, Jefferson proclaimed as a self-evident truth that liberty was a right given to all people by an Almighty."

Mr. Bush then said that the ideas of Jefferson were not quickly fulfilled. "Here in America, that truth was not fully realized in Jefferson's own lifetime. As he observed the condition of slaves in America, Jefferson said, 'I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just' and 'that his justice cannot sleep forever.' Less than 40 years after his death, justice was awakened in America and a new era of freedom dawned."

Mrs. Bush also made a speech. "Thomas Jefferson believed that education is the cornerstone of a free society, so it's therefore little surprise that he viewed the founding of the University of Virginia as one of his top achievements," she said.


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