"Monticello" (with the last two syllables pronounced like the stringed instrument) means "little mountain," and Thomas Jefferson's stunning neoclassical refuge — which he himself designed — commands beautiful views of the Albemarle County, Va., countryside. It is filled with French furniture and artifacts representing his eclectic interests and genius for invention, including an apparatus that allowed him to simultaneously create two copies of every letter he wrote.
Sabato was moved by sight of the bed where the third president died — on July 4, 1826, 50 years after the Declaration of Independence, which he had penned, was signed. "John Adams died on the same day, adding to the freakishness of it all," Sabato said. And as Adams died, he whispered, "Thomas Jefferson survives." But Jefferson had died just a few hours before at Monticello.
- A naturalization ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. on the Fourth of July. About 76 people from more than 40 countries are scheduled to take the oath of citizenship on the west lawn of the estate. Music will be performed by the Charlottesville Municipal Band and the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums.
- The bust of Alexander Hamilton displayed in the entrance hall, "Jefferson's political enemy, but one, obviously, for whom he had high respect," said Sidney M. Milkis, White Burkett Miller professor of politics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
- The Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center features four exhibitions, an introductory film and a hands-on space for children.
- The Behind-the-Scenes Tour allows visitors to see the upstairs living quarters of Jefferson's family and the iconic Dome Room on the third floor.