Not sure why he doesn't get a special holiday as author of the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom, and being somewhat influential, even though he was in France at the time, in the fact that we even have a Bill of Rights. Thomas Jefferson is clearly one of the most important Founding Fathers, but I guess we have to be happy with Presidents Day.
He was one of the founders of the Democratic-Republican Party, which we now know as the Democratic Party. The opposition in his time was the Federalists, and when we look closely, today's Republican Party positions tend to be more in line with Federalist thinking. Among other evils, the Federalists were opposed to a Bill of Rights. Just think about that for a minute: If the Federalists would have had their way, we would probably have no Bill of Rights. Scary thought, I think.
A few words of wisdom from The Sage of Monticello:
I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
(He distrusted financiers - friends, by the way, of the Federalists - and was fearful of corporations gaining too much power and influence. Talk about being prescient . . . )
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions."
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."
"If the children . . . are untaught, their ignorance and vices will in future life cost us much dearer in their consequences, than it would have done, in their correction, by a good education."
"On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind."
"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."