August 31, 2004
CW website features election-year interview with Thomas Jefferson
Colonial Williamsburg’s resource-rich website offers an unusual election-year feature – an “interview” with Thomas Jefferson. In the weeks prior to the November election, Colonial Williamsburg interpreter Bill Barker, as President Thomas Jefferson, will respond on camera to questions that were pertinent to presidential politics 200 years ago – and today.
“Politics, Elections & the Presidency: A Video Conversation with Thomas Jefferson” includes 12 separate videotaped interview questions, with a new question and video clip added every few days until the 2004 presidential election. The feature supports Colonial Williamsburg’s mission “that the future may learn from the past” and was created as part of the foundation’s educational outreach.
“Jefferson’s responses reveal that issues facing voters today are nearly the same as those facing citizens 200 years ago – war, voter apathy, public approval, budget deficits, political partisanship and the Electoral College,” said Richard McCluney, Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker vice president of Productions, Publications and Learning Ventures for the foundation. “The feature is a creative way of using today’s technology to make history come alive for students and the public. Teachers can involve students in current events and teach them the history of our nation’s beginnings.”
The interview is available online at www.history.org/Jefferson_elections, and includes questions and answers in text version to accompany the video clips.