J. T. Time with T. J.

Magnus and Yvette were in cahoots planning a trip between two bookend holidays in July: Independence Day and Bastille Day. Magnus wanted to recite the Declaration of Independence in an all-American place, but Yvette wanted something with a French flair. They put their minds together, roped in some recruits and stormed The Jefferson Memorial !

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Yvette and Edward took 14 minutes (for le quatorze juillet) discussing the Ionic columns. "Surely they wouldn't be as great without the egg-and-dart ornamentals," Yvette mused. "Perhaps," paused Edward, "but I still prefer Corinthian." A wide-eyed Silus shook his head and mumbled something about being imprisoned.

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Roman and Magnus were struck by its similarities to The Pantheon and The Rotunda. Penny found a precarious place and thought about the balance between independence and freedom.

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Yvette swoons for T. J. because he was a minister to France; Penny has a weakness for polymaths, in general.

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Caught in the coffers above T. J., the boys thought about "tyranny over the mind of man."

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Did you know that T. J. is considered the author of The Declaration of Independence?

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Did you know that T. J. was governor of Virginia, U.S. minister to France, Secretary of State (under Washington), Vice President (under Adams), and President of the United States? Did you know he was also the Father of The University of Virginia ? Did you know T. J. was a botanist, an architect, and started the Library of Congress with his own collection of books?

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The colonnade was perfect for Huckle Buckle Beanstalk and rounds of Frère Jacques.

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Magnus thought it would be better to hear The Declaration of Independence recited by its author than by him. The others agreed. So, T. J. recited the entire thing, right there in the memorial. Of course, Magnus mouthed the entire thing – just to prove a point.

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Roman and Edward tried identifying the typeface used on the wall panels throughout the memorial. Do you know what it is?

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To avoid another world war, the girls took their squabbling — about who T. J. liked more — outdoors. They conceded to share liking privileges, which granted them each cooing rights whenever they visited. T. J. approved of their resolution method: good debate and discussion backed with reason.

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As the Troop made its final rounds around the memorial, they felt T. J.'s firework-phrasing sink in. Maybe it was an unseen jet stream or maybe it was the timely, echoing words, but the flight home seemed less strenuous and more like a pursuit of happiness

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