On Thanksgiving, thankful for public education
As a nation we owe much gratitude to Thomas Jefferson, a visionary whose wisdom and foresight laid the groundwork for public education as we know it today.
I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness. . . .Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [tyranny, oppression, etc.] and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to George Wythe, August 13, 1786, republished at Thomas Jefferson/Monticello (Quotations)
Beth T. Sigall
November 24, 2011