Checkin’ in With TJ: Non-Quotes and $5 Admission

Thomas Jefferson

(Courtesy the Thomas Jefferson Foundation)

We haven’t caught up recently with the Sage of Monticello, but a couple of notes came across the UVA Today news desk this morning that seemed worth passing along.

• The Wall Street Journal has a great article today about quotes that are erroneously attributed to Thomas Jefferson, a phenomenon that has only exploded in the digital age.

For example, this one: ”All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” Nice sentiment, stirring call to action, but … Jefferson never said it, apparently.

The problem has grown nettlesome enough for Anna Berkes, a research librarian at the Jefferson Library at Monticello, operated by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, that she has set up a “Spurious Quotations” page on the Monticello website. (There’s also a page of verified Jefferson quotes for just about any subject, which I suspect is bookmarked by speechwriters everywhere.)

• Speaking of Monticello … if you haven’t been there in awhile, NOW is the time to go.

To celebrate of the 25th anniversary of the designation of Monticello and the University of Virginia’s Academical Village as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Monticello is rolling back admission prices to 1987 levels — which means $5. HOWEVER, the price is only good from today through Tuesday, so you’ll need to hustle.

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