Holiday Our Town to Feature 3rd President

Thomas Jefferson and Clay Jenkinson to be guests on next Our Town

What better way to spend the Fourth of July than by hearing from the man who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.  KCST’s Our Town will present a special holiday edition on Wednesday, July 4th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM that will focus on Thomas Jefferson.

“I’m very excited about the prospects of speaking with the architect of the original 1776 Declaration” said Our Town host Bob Sneddon.  “Jefferson had no intention of even being at the 2nd Continental Congress” according to Sneddon, “But when he arrived, he quickly found himself in the thick of things”.  Indeed, Jefferson, at 33-years old, was initially an alternate but when one of the principal delegates from Virginia could not attend, the young planter soon found himself in Philadelphia.

“To be able to hear in a first-hand account of the drafting of the blue print for liberty will be sobering for me” says Sneddon.   Of course, Since he passed away on July 4th, 1826, Jefferson the man is not available.  But, Clay Jenkinson, a North Dakota author, Humanities Scholar, and historian is.  Jenkinson is widely known for his Jefferson scholarship.  As part of that, he hosts a weekly radio and web-based program where he portrays Jefferson.  He’s done extensive research and all of his actions and words are based on what he believes Jefferson would actually say and do.

Jenkinson will portray the third President of the United States in the first half of the two hour program.  It’s expected he’ll not only talk about his experiences in penning the Declaration, but also his two terms as President, the commissioning of the “Voyage of Discovery” by Lewis and Clark, and his founding of the University of Virginia.

In the second half of the program, Jenkinson will break character, but the conversation will stay with the basic principals of liberty and freedom.  “We need to remember that this country is the most extraordinary experiment in the history of the planet in liberty and the pursuit of happiness” said Jenkinson.  “That has more to do with Thomas Jefferson than any single individual”.

Jenkinson’s work portraying historical figures is not limited to the man who succeeded Benjamin Franklin as America’s Minister to France; served as the first Secretary of State; and the 2nd Vice President of the United States.  He also impersonates Theodore Roosevelt, Meriwether Lewis, J. Robert Oppenheimer and John Steinbeck.  “I try to take on characters who really raise the questions of what it is to be an American, what we value, how we’re different from other people, why the American experiment is so important.”

Jenkinson is also an author, his latest work is “The Character of Meriwether Lewis” about the explorer’s ultimately unsuccessful efforts to reintegrate into society after the monumental journey to explore the Louisiana Purchase and beyond.

The special Fourth of July edition of KCST’s award winning Our Town will air on FM 106.9 Wednesday, July 4th from 4:00 to 6:00.  It’s sponsored by Andy Baber of Edward Jones Investments; Holloway and Associates CPA’s; and PeaceHealth Siuslaw Region.