On April 13, 1743, Thomas Jefferson was born in Virginia. Along with Benjamin Franklin, he was one of the first American multi-hyphenate Renaissance men. Author, musician, inventor, diplomat, epicurean, architect, educator, and President. Certainly his writing of the Declaration of Independence was of paramount importance to the US, even if he had never served as President.
It was during his Presidency that Thomas Jefferson actively pursued the Louisiana Purchase which brought what is now Arkansas into the United States. While he never visited the area, he did send explorers to chart out the Louisiana Purchase. The subsequent surveying which took place during the Madison presidency was based on standards developed by Jefferson for the surveying of Ohio.
In Little Rock, Jefferson is remembered with Jefferson Elementary and Jefferson Street. He is also the eponym for Bill Clinton’s middle name.