To honor Jefferson City’s namesake, local entities are partnering to host a Thomas Jefferson event later this month.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. April 23 at the Missouri Capitol. Jefferson City, Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jefferson City Cultural Arts Commission, the Historic City of Jefferson and Missouri State Museum are hosting the event.
“Given the city’s namesake, we want to continue to preserve elements of his ideas on government and governance while not ignoring the past inconsistencies — maybe serve to better understand those,” said Ward 2 Councilman Rick Mihalevich, who has been spearheading the event. “Clearly, his influence on Missouri and the city and the seat of government is significant.”
Dr. Christa Dierksheide, a noted Thomas Jefferson scholar, will be the keynote speaker at the event. An assistant professor of history at the University of Missouri, Dierksheide plans to discuss how Thomas Jefferson “helped define the American nation, how and why he viewed it through the prism of ‘generations’ and why these ideas were threatened in the era of western expansion and the Missouri Compromise,” according to a city news release.
Audience members will be allowed to view the Lewis and Clark Exhibit at the Capitol following Dierksheide’s lecture.
Jefferson City hosted an event last year to celebrate the Founding Father’s birthday — April 13, 1743 — and the city’s namesake. The event involved student presentations and a Thomas Jefferson impersonator.
The entities hosting the event wanted to “broaden the exposure” this year and capture a different audience that wasn’t captured at last year’s celebration, Mihalevich said.