Monticello celebrates Jefferson's birthday with Founder's Day ceremony

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- To honor Thomas Jefferson's 276th birthday, Monticello invited the public to a Founder's Day celebration Friday.

Jefferson's birthday is on April 13.

The community gathered to watch a ceremony, where Dr. Sylvia Earle was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership.

She is an oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.

She saluted Jefferson's role as a founding father and spoke about how the natural world has changed since he was alive almost two centuries ago.

Earle said she would love to have a conversation with Jefferson today.

"I think it would be obvious to him, as it should be to everybody, we have to take care of the natural world that makes our existence possible now that we know what we could not know even 50 years ago," said Earle.

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed birthday cake, a 21-gun salute by the Charlottesville-Albemarle American Legion Post 74 and a performance by the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.

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