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Stanley Jefferson

Stanley Jefferson
Virginia Union University
Image by Runs With Scissors
He was the rage when I went to Truman High School in the Bronx and was friends with many of my friends too. He and I came grew up in the same Bronx neighborhood.

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Forgotten Hero

Former Met Stanley Jefferson struggles to cope with horror of life as 9/11 cop


Four flights up in Co-Op City, at the end of a hallway in Building 26, the big man sits in a big brown recliner, boxed in by four walls and demons and an emptiness that doesn’t end. If only it did. If only it were finite, measurable, like the outfields of Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, or the other big-league parks he once called home.

Then Stanley Jefferson might be able to know exactly what he’s dealing with. Then he might be able to go outside, go to work, maybe share the things he still believes he has to give, and begin to pick up the shards of a life that sometimes seems broken beyond recognition.

It is early in a late-winter afternoon. In Florida the Mets and Yankees are playing their first spring-training games, the sense of renewal as palpable as the palm trees. In Building 26 in the Bronx, the feeling is different, and has been ever since Sept. 11, 2001. Stanley Jefferson, former big-league ballplayer and former New York City police officer, and one of the greatest schoolboy players the city has ever produced, has the remote in his hand, and his beloved Yorkshire terrier, Rocky, on his lap. His wife, Christie, is off at her job at a social-services agency in Westchester. The apartment is crammed with a sectional sofa and a desk and exercise machines that sit unused. Against one wall is a big fish tank. All the fish are dead. Against another is a big-screen television, where Jefferson plays his video games, and watches his comedies, laugh tracks sounding as days pass into weeks, and weeks into months.

"Raymond," "Family Guy," "Two and a Half Men," Stanley Jefferson likes them all.

"They keep my spirits up, rather than crying or brooding," he says. A faint smile crosses his broad, goateed face. The spirits do not stay up for long.

Fifteen years after his baseball career ended with a ruptured Achilles, two years after his police career ended when the department declared him unfit for duty, 44-year-old Stanley Jefferson, former shield No. 14299 and former uniform No. 13, wrangles with the NYPD over his disability benefit, and with a much more debilitating enemy: the ravages of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a condition that the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a division of the U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs, defines as "an anxiety disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a traumatic event." For Jefferson, it has spawned everything from agoraphobia to panic attacks to immobilizing depression to recurring nightmares – one in which he is tormented by a ball of fire reminiscent of the explosion he witnessed when the second plane flew into the second tower a few minutes after 9 a.m. on 9/11, another in which he desperately tries to save a people in peril, but never manages to reach them.

Once, in 1983, Jefferson was a first-round draft choice of the Mets (taken one slot after the Red Sox selected a pitcher named Clemens), a blindingly fast, 5-11, 175-pound center fielder out of Truman High School, and Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. He still might be the fastest player the organization has ever had. He was clocked running a 4.27 40 on a wet track during his Met tryout, and was timed at 3.0 from home to first in college. He had some 120 steals in his first three minor-league seasons, and hit an inside-the-park grand slam. Now he is 255 pounds and speeding nowhere.

He leaves the apartment about only twice a week, and even then it’s only if he feels safe, if he’s meeting someone close to him, such as Steve Bradstetter, 40, a Long Island businessman who is perhaps his closest friend.

"I have no life," Jefferson says, in a flat, baritone voice. "I’ve screwed up a lot of days." He pauses. He wrings his hands, something he does often. "I always thought this was something that would pass. I thought I could overcome anything, because that’s just my athletic mentality. I’m ashamed because I never thought that something like this could happen to me."

Says Christie, his wife of three years, "This is not the man I married."

* * *
Even by the sculpted body standards of professional sports, Stanley Jefferson’s physique – ropes of lean muscle on top of thick sprinter’s legs – always stood out. When you saw him in motion, it stood out even more. Willie Daniels, 44, a childhood friend of Jefferson’s from Co-Op City, played Little League with him, the two of them coached by Everod Jefferson, Stanley’s father. They went to Truman High together and then to Bethune-Cookman. Daniels still marvels at the time Jefferson beat out a two-hopper to first against the University of Miami. In one college season, Jefferson stole 67 of 68 bases, getting caught only when his spikes got stuck on a wet track.

"I played with Devon White, Shawon Dunston, Walt Weiss, a lot of guys. Stanley is one of the best pure athletes I’ve ever seen," Daniels says.

The Mets did not disagree. Two years after he made his pro debut in the Single-A New York-Penn League and was the league’s rookie of the year, Jefferson was one of the sensations of the club’s training camp. The year was 1986, and seven months before Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner would become odd baseball bedfellows, Davey Johnson was likening the 23-year-old Jefferson to Chili Davis. Steve Schryver, director of minor-league operations, saw him as a young Bake McBride. Jefferson hit .500 in the spring, and if not for GM Frank Cashen’s reluctance to rush him, he probably would’ve made the team.

"How can you not love his future?" Rusty Staub said then. "You look at his skills and think ‘leadoff man.’ You think about 100 runs a season." Nor was he just a weapon at the top of the order. "If the ball is in the ballpark, Stanley Jefferson will catch it," said Joe McIlvaine, the future GM, envisioning Jefferson spending years alongside Darryl Strawberry.

Jefferson wound up fighting injuries most of the ’86 season in Tidewater, struggling with a chronic wrist problem and a hamstring pull. Still, he got a September call-up, and picked up his first big-league hit off the Padres’ Dave LaPoint. It was supposed to be just the beginning, before the performance of Lenny Dykstra and the lure of a star left fielder induced the Mets to make Jefferson a key part of a winter deal that brought Kevin McReynolds to Flushing. Fourteen games wound up being the entirety of Jefferson’s Met career.

Jefferson showed patches of promise in San Diego, stealing 34 bases in hitting eight homers and seven triples in 116 games, before a late-season slump left him with a .230 average. A natural righty who was converted into a switch-hitter by the Mets after he was drafted, Jefferson struggled from the left side, and wound up having trouble on his natural side, too. He had a run-in with manager Larry Bowa, and soon found himself on a journeyman’s carousel, doing bits of time with the Yankees, Orioles, Indians and Reds before he tore his Achilles tendon while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico after the 1991 season. He says he had tendinitis for years, but played through it. It wouldn’t be the last time Jefferson would ignore pain, try to push through it.

"Physically, athletically, I had all the tools. I didn’t live up to those lofty expectations," Jefferson says.

With baseball behind him, Jefferson went to work as a warehouse manager of a lighting company in Mt. Vernon, then spent a couple of years coaching in the minor leagues with the Mets and an independent team in Butte, Mont. His larger goal, though, was to become a New York City police officer. "I always wanted to be a cop, a detective," Jefferson says. He took the exam, went through a battery of psychological and physical tests and was sworn in on Dec. 8, 1997. "He was the perfect package for what you look for in a police officer," says Eric Josey, one of his instructors in the Police Academy. Jefferson graduated in the spring of 1998, posed for a graduation picture with Mayor Giuliani and Commissioner Safir, then was assigned to the 14th Pct., Midtown South.

"I would always tell him, ‘You got to live your dream twice,’" Willie Daniels says. "Most people don’t even get to live their dream once."

For almost four years, police work was all Jefferson hoped it would be. Another Labor Day came and went. Kids went back to school. It was a dazzlingly beautiful late-summer morning. It was a Tuesday.

* * *
Stanley Jefferson reported for work at 7:05 a.m. on Sept. 11, having flown all night on a red-eye after a family wedding in Seattle. Two hours later, in squad car 1726, he and his partner, Ed Kinloch, were at 6th Ave. and 38th St. They were eating breakfast. Jefferson, his muscled body built up to 210 pounds by regular trips to the gym, was having his usual bowl of oatmeal. A voice on the radio came on. It told of an explosion at the World Trade Center. They started heading downtown before being ordered to stop at Union Square. Jefferson and Kinloch got out of the car. Jefferson looked downtown and got his first glimpse of the remains of the first tower. He saw people jumping. He saw people waving towels, and more smoke than he’d ever seen in his life. He was still trying to fathom it when he watched the second plane rip right through the second tower. There was a ball of fire. It took a second or two for the sound of the horrific explosion to reach 14th St. Jefferson and Kinloch looked at each other.

"Oh, bleep," Kinloch said. "Did you see that?"

"We’ve got a problem here," Jefferson said.

They were told to stay around 14th St. Jefferson and Kinloch did what they could to help and direct people, and comfort them. "There was a lot of crying, a lot of hugging," Jefferson says. "You try to stay focused and do your job and not get caught up in people’s emotions, but it’s hard." A series of bomb threats followed. Jefferson worked until 9 p.m., and was back at Midtown South at 4 a.m., on the 12th. On Thursday and Friday, the 13th and 14th, Jefferson was at Ground Zero, according to his memo book. "World Trade Detail," he wrote. Each day, Jefferson worked a 12-hour shift – from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the pile, on the bucket brigade, putting body parts in bags, the carnage seemingly endless, the beeping of the empty oxygen packs of departed firefighters a shrill symphony that never stopped. The packs and other equipment, most of it with burnt flesh attached, were thrown into a makeshift tent.

"It was the smell of death in there, a smell you never forget," Kinloch says.

Jefferson spent a number of other shifts around Ground Zero in the ensuing weeks, and by the end of the year, began to suffer from coughing spells and nightmares. He didn’t think much of it at first, until his symptoms worsened in the spring of 2002, not long after he was transferred to the Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB), a move that he hoped would lead to a rapid promotion to detective. He started to experience periodic panic attacks, in which he would sweat profusely and feel his heart pounding as if it were a jackhammer. He also had trouble sleeping. While preparing reports for his IAB work, Jefferson says he began typing the same paragraph over and over.

"I didn’t know what was happening," he says. He did his best not to think about it, hoping it would go away.

"I was in complete denial," Jefferson says. "I wanted to be a detective, period. I just wanted to fake it until I could make it."

Bradstetter began to wonder what was going on with his friend. He and Jefferson used to play golf all the time, but now Jefferson had no interest in it. He stopped working out, began gaining weight and found it harder and harder to leave the apartment. First, Jefferson would make excuses to Bradstetter. Later he opened up, just a little.

"I don’t know what’s wrong with me," Jefferson told him.

Jefferson’s agoraphobia got progressively worse, and so did the panic attacks. His personal datebook shows 41 sick days in the first few months of 2003. Then, in March, days after he underwent an angiogram to correct a 30% blockage in his heart, Jefferson’s mother died suddenly, and the combination of grief and the ongoing aftershocks of 9/11 sent him spiraling downward.

* * *
To say that Jefferson feels betrayed by the police department he dreamed of being a part of is to grossly understate it. He believes that in his time of greatest need, he was treated with all the sensitivity of a pine-tar rag.

Perhaps the first major issue he had came down on June 23, 2003, just when his problems were deepening. Jefferson had a doctor’s appointment and told his immediate supervisor, Sgt. Michael Dowd, about it when his shift started. A short time before Jefferson had to leave, Dowd requested that he finish up a case he was working on. Jefferson reminded him of his appointment. Dowd insisted that Jefferson do the work, and Jefferson refused to comply. In an incident report to Capt. Michael O’Keefe, Dowd said Jefferson was profane and belligerent, screaming, ‘Who the bleep do you think you are talking to?"

Jefferson, in a counter-complaint, says that Dowd was upset because he wanted to leave to play golf. Jefferson subsequently filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court, a case that he settled out of court for ,000 last year.

Five days after the dispute with Dowd, Jefferson suffered a panic attack as he drove from Co-Op City to the IAB office on Hudson Street. His vision was blurry, his heart pounding. Sweat was pouring out of him. He pulled over and went to the Lenox Hill Emergency Room. Jefferson’s bouts with panic – and fears he was having a heart attack – had made him such a regular at the ER in Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Pelham that one technician gently told him he needed to stop coming. Now here he was in an ER again. He was terrified. He privately wondered when his troubles were going to end, and if he were going insane. He says his department superiors continually ignored his pleas – and the counsel of his therapist – to reduce his caseload and shift him from investigative to administrative work, an opinion that is backed up by Sgt. John Paolucci, another IAB officer who supported Jefferson in a letter to the department Medical Board.

"No consideration for his predicament was afforded him," Paolucci wrote, adding that the whole culture of the department tends to make anyone who is incapacitated an outcast. "Most will doubt the veracity of your illness and compassion is out of the question."

Police officials declined to address any specifics relating to Jefferson’s case.

Not even 48 hours after his visit to Lenox Hill, Jefferson, of his own volition, went to the NYPD’s Psychological Evaluation Unit in Queens. He had a two-hour intake meeting with a department therapist, Christie at his side. His two handguns were taken from him that day, and have never been returned, Jefferson being deemed unfit for police work. He was transferred to the VIPER unit – the lowest level of police work, involving the monitoring of surveillance cameras. "It’s the land of broken toys – where they send anyone with charges pending or a problem that makes them unable to work," Jefferson says.

On Nov. 8, 2004, the NYPD moved to place him on Ordinary Disability Retirement (ODR), based on a diagnosis of the department Medical Board of "major depressive disorder." Jefferson later applied for Accidental Disability Retirement (ADR), on the grounds that his condition was triggered by his Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome in the wake of 9/11 – a diagnosis made separately by a social worker and a psychiatrist who have treated Jefferson.

The ODR amounts to ,400 monthly. An ADR – granted to officers mentally or physically incapacitated in the line of duty – would provide Jefferson with just under ,000 monthly, tax-free. The Medical Board and the Pension Board, citing reports by psychiatrists, social workers and an examination of Jefferson, said his mother’s death and his heart problems were major triggers of his condition, and also mentioned the depressed feelings he had when his first wife and two daughters left him, in 1991. The Boards asserted that there was insufficient evidence to support a connection to 9/11 and Jefferson’s problems – a finding upheld in State Supreme Court in Manhattan last October.

Said Carolyn Wolpert, deputy chief of the pensions division of the city law department, "The city is grateful to Stanley Jefferson for his almost eight years of service as a police officer. Due to medical issues, the Police Pension Fund retired Officer Jefferson with ordinary disability benefits . . . The New York County Supreme Court found that there was credible medical evidence to support the determination that the officer’s disability was not caused by his World Trade Center assignment." Jeffrey L. Goldberg, a Lake Success, L.I.-based attorney representing Jefferson, is planning on filing a second application for ADR benefits for Jefferson. Only nine officers who responded to the World Trade Center attacks have been granted accidental disability benefits for psychological reasons, according to a police source. Goldberg believes it is all but a de facto administration policy. "Mayor Bloomberg considers accidental disability retirement a free lunch for a police officer like Stanley Jefferson," Goldberg says. "This is no free lunch. This is the real-life consequence of an officer responding to a tragedy and an emergency. Stanley Jefferson is a hero. He should be aided, not discarded. Hopefully, the city will recognize that and support him as he tries to recover from a terribly serious medical condition."

* * *
Last week was a good one for Stanley Jefferson. He made it to Goldberg’s office, after canceling a series of previous appointments. His daughters, Nicole, 21, and Brittany, 19, came to visit from Virginia. He went for coffee at a bookstore near Co-Op City, and opened up about every aspect of his six-year ordeal: his shame, his vulnerability, his embarrassment over having such a hard time walking out of Building 26, being in the world.

"I know people can’t understand it. I can’t understand," he says. He talks about the medications he takes to ease his anxiety and his depression, and about the drinking binges – Grey Goose and cranberry – he used to go on to escape his pain. "It’s what got me outside," Jefferson says. It also got him into full-blown rages, and a Westchester County treatment center last fall. He didn’t want to talk when he got there, before he began to see that his therapist was right: the silent suffering was nothing but fuel for the demons.

"I can’t let pride get in the way," Jefferson says.

Adds wife Christie, "I keep telling him he’s got to forget all the machismo right now, and realize he’s not the only one who has gone through this in his life, and work on taking care of himself." Steve Bradstetter, Jefferson’s friend, will always be grateful to Jefferson for the way he responded when Bradstetter’s mother died. It was February of 2000, and Jefferson accompanied Bradstetter on a drive to Massachusetts. "It was about the toughest circumstance I’ve ever had to deal with, and he was there for me," Bradstetter says. "He was like, ‘We’ll talk, we’ll laugh, we’ll try to make sense of it all.’"

Stanley Jefferson is a very different person than he was then. He is sad and often distant. When he and Bradstetter arrange to meet at a Dunkin’ Donuts or a diner, Jefferson waits in the car until he sees Bradstetter pull up. Only then does he feel safe enough to get out. Sometimes Bradstetter will see his friend start wringing his hands, see the beads of sweat running down his temple, his leg jiggling as it were stuck in full throttle. Bradstetter doesn’t know what to say. "It’s like his whole body is taken over by whatever issues he’s dealing with." He offers what comfort he can. He knows the real Stanley is still in there.

Tomorrow afternoon, Stanley Jefferson is supposed to go to Dobbs Ferry to meet with Bill Sullivan, the Mercy College baseball coach. Jefferson finished his degree at Mercy while he was on the force. Sullivan has gotten to know him and like him, and would love to have him help out as a volunteer assistant.

"He would be such an asset for our program," Sullivan says.

From his big brown chair on the fourth floor, Jefferson looks out a window, toward his terrace and a barren Co-Op City courtyard. He talks about the things he has to share in the world, how maybe he can work with kids. He says helping out at Mercy would be a great start. Jefferson knows he can’t cure his illness, but he can face it, and battle it. The towers may be down forever, and his days of getting to first in three seconds may be behind him. But who says the rebuilding of a life can’t begin anew? Who says a 44-year-old man can’t get back to first and second and third, and all the way back home, no matter how long it takes?

The big man leans back in his chair.

"I do have optimism," Stanley Jefferson says. "I do believe that I’m strong enough that I will eventually get better. I just have to keep working at it."

Originally published on March 4, 2007

Angel of Equality, Thomas Jefferson Monument

Angel of Equality, Thomas Jefferson Monument
Virginia Union University
Image by elycefeliz
“Almighty God has created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens are a departure from the plan of the Author of our religion. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religion, worship or ministry, or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matter of religion. "
~ Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson Statue in front of Louisville Metro Hall (5th & Jefferson Streets) that was made by Moses Ezekiel and given to the city in 1901.

A full-length portrait of Jefferson holding the Declaration of Independence and standing atop a replica of the Liberty Bell. Four allegorical winged female figures are placed around the bell — Liberty faces south; Equality looks east; Justice faces the west; and Brotherhood of Man and Religious Freedom look north.


Moses Ezekiel
From the humblest origins, Moses Jacob Ezekiel sought a public education at America’s first state military college, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) during the Civil War. While at VMI, he fought as a member of the VMI Cadet Battalion on the Confederate side at the Battle of Newmarket (May 15, 1864). There he witnessed the deaths and maimings of some of his closest friends. He remained with the cadet corps and fought in the Richmond trenches in defense of his native city. After the war, Ezekiel returned to VMI and graduated in 1866. He then launched a brilliantly successful artistic career in Europe where, despite a long life as an émigré, he remained close to his American and Virginian roots.

One of 14 children, Ezekiel was born on October 28, 1844 in Richmond, Virginia, in a now-demolished house on "Old Market Street," on the west side of 17th Street between Main and Franklin, in a poverty-stricken neighborhood. The family also lived in a house (demolished in the 1930’s) on the southeast corner of Marshall and 12th. His grandparents, of Spanish-Jewish origin, had immigrated in 1808 to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from Holland—where the family had fled some 400 years earlier following the Spanish Inquisition.

By the beginning of the American Civil War, Ezekiel had quit school and was engaged in the mercantile business when he decided to go to college. VMI, as a public college and then under a wartime regime, was one of the few institutions available to him at reasonable cost and considering his relatively poor academic preparation. His mother, Catherine de Castro Ezekiel, appreciated that the wartime situation might lead him to fight for the South. She admonished him, as she sent him off to VMI to learn the arts of war, that she wouldn’t have a son who would not fight for his home and country.

Considering the well-documented anti-Semitic prejudice pervasive in Richmond and America at that time, his mother’s was a courageous and benevolent attitude (which her son seemed to share).

Ezekiel later explained his reasons for going to VMI and, by implication, fighting for the Confederacy. He asserted that he’d gone there, not to defend slavery—an institution which, in this thinking, had unfortunately been inherited and limited by Virginia. Rather, Ezekiel further asserted, he went there to defend Virginia when she seceded to avoid providing troops to the Union to "subjugate her sister Southern states". These views were typical of the VMI cadets of that period, ignoring the fact that his state in 1868 had the largest slave population in the South and, over the previous 30 years, had exported 200,000 slaves to the other Southern states.

One of the lasting memories of the Class of 1866 was the May 1863 death and funeral of Lt. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, who had spent the last 12 years of his life on VMI’s faculty. Ezekiel was one of the corporals of the guard—who had the primary mission of ensuring that overzealous cadets didn’t pluck too many floral souvenirs from "Stonewall’s" heavily bedecked metal casket as it lay in state in his old VMI classroom—before Jackson’s burial.

In his final year, he came to the attention of Robert E. Lee, newly resident in Lexington as the president of Washington College, and Lee’s wife. Lee encouraged him to pursue his artistic talents: "I hope you will be an artist, as it seems to me you are cut out for one. But, whatever you do, try to prove to the world that if we did not succeed in our struggle, we are worthy of success, and do earn a reputation in whatever profession you undertake."

With little point in returning home to Richmond, where his parents had lost everything and opportunities were non-existent, Ezekiel followed the advice of Cincinnati artists and went abroad to Berlin. In the German capital, he studied at the Royal Art Academy. There he earned money by teaching English and selling some of his works.

His sculptures were in the romantic, elaborate and ornate style which was highly popular in the Victorian era. Ezekiel accomplished some 200 works in his prolific career. Among his greatest was a marble group, "Religious Liberty," or "Religious Freedom," created for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. He did an allegorical statue o Thomas Jefferson for Louisville, Kentucky, and a replica for the University of Virginia.

A less well-known, Civil War-related work, a bronze entitled "The Outlook," depicts a Confederate soldier (accomplished in 1910) looking our at Lake Erie from the Confederate cemetery at the site of the former prisoner-of-war camp at Johnson’s Island, Ohio—where many of his fellow VMI men had been imprisoned and several were buried. In 1910 he made what appears to have been a final visit to the U.S. where he was a guest at the VMI commencement. His last work (1917) was a bronze statue of a fellow Richmond resident and artist, Edgar Allen Poe, later in Baltimore’s Wyman Park.

When World War I trapped Ezekiel in Rome, he put aside his sculptures to help organize the American-Italian Red Cross. Shortly afterward however, on March 27, 1917, he died in Rome, where he had maintained his studio in the Baths of Diocletian. His body was shipped aboard the Duca degli Abruzzi from Naples, Italy, on February 27, 1921. In a March 31, 1921, burial ceremony—the first held in the amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery, and presided over by U.S. Secretary of War John W. Weeks, Ezekiel was laid to rest next to his Confederate memorial. Flanking his flower-bedecked and American-flag covered casket, were six VMI cadet captains and two other cadets.

Executive Papers of Governor Thomas Jefferson: Conservation at the Library of Virginia

This video shows the conservation process for the Executive Papers of Governor Thomas Jefferson, second governor of Virginia, 1779-1781. Watch Leslie Courtois, Senior Conservator with Etherington Conservation Services, HF Group, as she works to restore these valuable records in the Library of Virginia’s Conservation Lab. Leslie will delaminate, deacidify and repair these historically significant documents and explain her work in detail as you follow her through the conservation process. Financial support for this project has been provided by the Save America’s Treasures program, administered by the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from the Roller-Bottimore Foundation.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial
Virginia Union University
Image by dbking
Jefferson Memorial

•Third President of the United States (1801-1908)
•Second Vice President, serving with John Adams, although they were from different political parties (1797-1801)
•First Secretary of State
•Prolific writer
•Primary author of the Declaration of Independence
•Delegate to the Continental Congress
•Governor of Virginia (1779-1781)
•Founder of the University of Virginia (in Charlottesville)
•Experimental planter who started the wine industry in Virginia
•Architect who submitted designs anonymously for both the Capitol and the White House
•Inventor who invented wire coat hangers, swivel chairs and sliding doors

•Cornerstone laid in 1939

•Dedicated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 13, 1943 — the 200th anniversary of Jefferson’s birth

•Original architect, John Russell Pope, envisioned a memorial twice this size; his partners scaled it down after taking over the project on Pope’s death

•Classical design, modelled after Jefferson’s design of the Rotunda of the University of Virginia, which Jefferson based on the Pantheon in Rome

•The 26 Ionic columns symbolize the 26 states in the Union at the end of Jefferson’s terms as president . The addition of the territory provided in the Louisiana Purchase gave rise to the 13 additional states.

•The carving on the tympanum (triangular section of the pediment over the entrance to the memorial) was designed by Adolph Alexander Weinman; it represents the five-man committee assigned by the Continental Congress to draft the Declaration of Independence; the figures from left to right are:
Benjamin Franklin
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson (standing)
Roger Sherman
Robert Livingston

•FDR asked that the memorial be placed so he could see it from the White House and gain inspiration; if you stand with your back to Jefferson, you can see the White House across the Tidal Basin through the trees

The Statue
•Designed by Rudolph Evans

•19 feet tall, made of bronze

•Jefferson is posed as if he were addressing the Continental Congress

•In his left hand he holds a copy of the Declaration of Independence

•He is wearing a coat given to him by Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Polish patriot who fought in the Revolutionary War

•The bronze statue was not installed when the Memorial was dedicated; a war-time limit on civilian use of bronze prohibited its casting; a full-size plaster statue was placed here which the bronze statue replaced in 1948

The Carved Texts
•The texts carved on the interior walls of the memorial are excerpts from various writings of Jefferson

•Behind the statue and to the right is an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence

•Immediately to your right as you enter the rotunda is an excerpt from the Act for Religious Freedom written by Jefferson and passed by the Virginia legislature — Jefferson considered this act to be one of his three most important accomplishments

•Immediately to your left as you enter the rotunda are six quotations from Jefferson’s letters and notes on slavery and education

•Behind the statue and to the left are quotations on government taken from a letter written to Samuel Kercheval in 1816

•The quotation encircling the base of the dome was taken from a letter written to Benjamin Rush in 1800


The Jefferson Memorial is a monument in Washington, DC to Thomas Jefferson. It combines a low neo-classical saucer dome with a portico.
By 1930, there were monuments in Washington commemorating great United States presidents such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. President Franklin Roosevelt thought that Thomas Jefferson also deserved a monument.
In 1934, following his initiative, Congress passed a resolution to create a monument commemorating Jefferson. The memorial was designed by John Russell Pope (1874 – 1937), the architect of the original (west) building of the National Gallery of Art. It reflects characteristics of buildings designed by Jefferson such as Monticello and the Rotunda, which were a result of his fascination with Roman architecture. It bears a close resemblance to the Pantheon of Rome. The cornerstone was laid in 1939 and the monument cost slightly more than million. It was officially dedicated in 1943, after Pope’s death. One of the last American public monuments in the Beaux-Arts tradition, it was severely criticized even as it was being built, by those who adhered to the modernist argument that dressing 20th-century buildings like Greek and Roman temples constituted a "tired architectural lie." More than 60 years ago, Pope responded with silence to critics who dismissed him as part of an enervated architectural elite practicing "styles that are safely dead".

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, modeled after the Pantheon of Rome, is America’s foremost memorial to our third president. As an original adaptation of Neoclassical architecture, it is a key landmark in the monumental core of Washington, DC The circular, colonnaded structure in the classic style was introduced to this country by Thomas Jefferson. Architect John Russell Pope used Jefferson’s own architectural tastes in the design of the Memorial. His intention was to synthesize Jefferson’s contribution as a statesman, architect, President, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, adviser of the Constitution and founder of the University of Virginia. Architects Daniel P. Higgins and Otto R. Eggers took over construction upon the untimely death of Pope in August 1937. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission was created to direct the erection of a memorial to Thomas Jefferson by an Act of Congress approved in June 1934. The present-day location at the Tidal Basin was selected in 1937. The site caused considerable public criticism because it resulted in the removal of Japanese flowering cherry trees from the Tidal Basin. Further controversy surrounded the selection of the design of the Memorial. The Commission of Fine Arts objected to the pantheon design because it would compete with the Lincoln Memorial. The Thomas Jefferson Commission took the design controversy to President Franklin D. Roosevelt who preferred the pantheon design and gave his permission to proceed. On November 15, 1939, a ceremony was held in which President Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Memorial.
In 1941, Rudolph Evans was commissioned to sculpt the statue of Thomas Jefferson. The statue of Jefferson looks out from the interior of the Memorial toward the White House. It was intended to represent the Age of Enlightenment and Jefferson as a philosopher and statesman. The bronze statue is 19 feet tall and weighs five tons. Adolph A. Weinman’s sculpture of the five members of the Declaration of Independence drafting committee submitting their report to Congress is featured on the triangular pediment. Also noteworthy, and adorning the interior of the Memorial, are five quotations taken from Jefferson’s writings that illustrate the principles to which he dedicated his life.

Few major changes have been made to the Memorial since its dedication in 1943. The most important change to note is the replacement of the plaster model statue of Thomas Jefferson by the bronze statue after the World War II restrictions on the use of metals were lifted. Each year the Jefferson Memorial plays host to various ceremonies, including annual Memorial exercises, Easter Sunrise Services and the ever-popular Cherry Blossom Festival. The Jefferson Memorial is administered and maintained by the National Park Service.

•Ground breaking: December 15, 1938.
•Architect: John Russell Pope.
•Cornerstone laid: November 15, 1939.
•Sculpture of Jefferson statue: Rudolph Evans.
•Sculpture of relief above entrance: A.A. Wineman.
•Total cost: ,192,312.
•Size of grounds: 2.5 acres (1.0117 hectare, 10117.1 square meters).
•Estimated Weight: 32,000 tons.
•Height from road to top of dome: 129 feet, 4 inches (39.42 meters).
•Height from floor to ceiling of dome: 91 feet, 8 inches (27.94 meters).
•Height from floor to top of dome – exterior: 95 feet, 8 inches (29.16 meters).
•Thickness of dome: 4 feet (1.22 meters).
•Weight of memorial: 32,000 tons (29029.9 metric tons).
•Piers to bedrock (maximum depth): 138 feet, 3 inches (42.14 meters).
•Ceiling: Indiana limestone.
•Exterior walls and columns: Danby Imperial Marble (Vermont).
•Interior floor: Tennessee pink marble.
•Interior wall panels: Georgian white marble.
•Pedestal: Missouri gray marble.

•Statue Height: 19 feet (5.79 meters).
•Height of pedestal: 6 feet (1.83 meters).
•Material: Bronze.
•Statue Weight: 10,000 pounds (4535.92 kilograms).

Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education (Thomas Jefferson Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series)

Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education (Thomas Jefferson Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series)

Thomas Jefferson once stated that the foremost goal of American education must be to nurture the “natural aristocracy of talent and virtue.” Although in many ways American higher education has fulfilled Jefferson’s vision by achieving a widespread level of excellence, it has not achieved the objective of equity implicit in Jefferson’s statement. In Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, William G. Bowen, Martin A. Kurzweil, and Eugene M. Tobin explore the cause for this divide. Employing historical research, examination of the most recent social science and public policy scholarship, international comparisons, and detailed empirical analysis of rich new data, the authors study the intersection between “excellence” and “equity” objectives.

Beginning with a time line tracing efforts to achieve equity and excellence in higher education from the American Revolution to the early Cold War years, this narrative reveals the halting, episodic progress in broadening access across the dividing lines of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The authors argue that despite our rhetoric of inclusiveness, a significant number of youth from poor families do not share equal access to America’s elite colleges and universities. While America has achieved the highest level of educational attainment of any country, it runs the risk of losing this position unless it can markedly improve the precollegiate preparation of students from racial minorities and lower-income families.

After identifying the “equity” problem at the national level and studying nineteen selective colleges and universities, the authors propose a set of potential actions to be taken at federal, state, local, and institutional levels. With recommendations ranging from reform of the admissions process, to restructuring of federal financial aid and state support of public universities, to addressing the various precollegiate obstacles that disadvantaged students face at home and in school, the authors urge all selective colleges and universities to continue race-sensitive admissions policies, while urging the most selective (and privileged) institutions to enroll more well-qualified students from families with low socioeconomic status.

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Who is a Bigger Elitist Obama or Thomas Jefferson?

Question by dolphin314etc: Who is a Bigger Elitist Obama or Thomas Jefferson?
We don’t have direct democracy in the USA. Why? Well for one thing, Jefferson realized that the People cannot be trusted to be wise.

He even thought that, absent the University of Virginia to train them, the People’s representatives would not be wise.

That’s why Jefferson devoted many years of his life to designing and organizing the University of Virginia.

Over the centuries this widened out into the Ivy League.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s one Ivy League school took a sharp turn to the left, which has recently been partially mitigated by Elena Kagan, who as Dean of the Harvard Lawschool sought out conservatives to place in Professorships so Harvard Lawschool would offer a more balanced worldview.

Obama came out of Harvard of time before Elena Kagan’s Deanship.

He came out of the Harvard of left wing excess.

So he is a very arrogant elitist indeed.

But he may be no match for Thomas Jefferson in that department.

Jefferson thought that persons of quality and fineness should represent the people. I don’t know what he would have made of “community organizers” and ACORN street rabble, and Barry’s Homeboys.

Jefferson wanted truly elite liberal education and top notch lawschool at Univ of Va.

He never thought that people from the trailer park would be OK as representatives. Or people who thought that the Jamestown Colony had about the right level of government. That colony which was very much Koch brothers/Rand Paul every man for himself, let the strong survive, let the weak perish, did fail, and our Founding Fathers were closer to it in time than are we.

They talked about a more perfect union. They did not talk about a larger middle class, but take my word for it — if they knew that a larger middle class was the key to a more perfect union — they would want that. They would not want 3% of the people to own 50% of the wealth, and then be pimping to own 75% or 95% of it. Jefferson the intellectual elitist was not an economic elitist. He had a deep knowledge of the French Revolution, based on direct experience and personal contacts and travel. He knew that economic equality in SOME MEASURE (not dollar for dollar perfect equality of outcomes, which we all know is the death of liberty and free enterprise) is key to political equality, and thus to working democracy.

Scalia the Thug Justice, and Rand Paul, and their Koch family backers, and John Birch ideology sources are the end of America — they are its murderers. Obama is a great big fat elitist, but he comes by it naturally and honestly. Jefferson possibly and even bigger and fatter elitist was a designer of elite education for the nation’s leaders — he did not believe in Trailer Trash running the country, right Sarah, and Christine?

There is nothing wrong with being an elitist if you are right and can deliver the goods. Obama’s problem is not that he is too big an elitist, it’s that he’s too small a manager, and too poor at policy. Obamacare is too complicated — too many externalized costs (unfunded mandates), too much collateral damage to our healthcare system just for the sake of getting some freebies for the 30 million Homey Boys, who already get plenty of freebies in America. When you destroy more than you create by a factor of 100, that’s not good management. He could have got a Cadillac for every one of those Homey Boys.

It’s unjustified elitism that is the hazard to America, not elitism per se.

Best answer:

Answer by Book Check
What a foolish rant. You insult thomas Jefferson AND Obama??? I smell a troll….

Add your own answer in the comments!