If not for President Thomas Jefferson, there would likely not be a state of Missouri. There certainly wouldn’t be a University of Missouri as we know it. In fact, Jefferson’s impact was so profound that his original tombstone lies in the middle of the MU campus.

Jefferson was quite precise about his tombstone: a six-foot-tall granite obelisk, atop a granite base with his birth and death dates, and a plaque with a personally chosen inscription.

The tombstone was originally erected at Jefferson’s home Monticello but was moved to Columbia in 1885 and unveiled on July 4 of that year.

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

Photo credit: [University of Missouri Photograph Collection, P0088. 025744-3.], The State Historical Society of Missouri, Photograph Collection.