On This Day. 1743: Thomas Jefferson was born. He was the third President, serving between 1801-1809. In addition to serving as President, Jefferson also served, among other things, as Vice-President, Secretary of State and Governor of Virginia. But Mr. Jefferson wanted none of these things mentioned on his tombstone. Instead, he wanted only two other accomplishments listed: that he wrote the Declaration of Independence and founded the University of Virginia. You can, of course, see Jefferson’s grave at the spectacular Monticello – his home near Charlottesville. It is covered with – what else – nickels. Jefferson died the same day as his friend and rival, John Adams, on the 50th anniversary of America’s founding, July 4, 1826.