Historic Sites Go Beyond Glorifying Great Men

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By: Zinie Chen Sampson, Associated Press Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (AP).- Thomas Jefferson’s clothes and linens didn’t get pressed on their own, and the meals for his lavish parties didn’t cook themselves. Now, Jefferson’s estate, Monticello, is expanding efforts to depict the lives and activities of the people who worked behind the scenes, allowing visitors to see that Jefferson had a lot of support for his achievements. Other sites have been undertaking similar updates — and in doing so, they’re providing a more complete depiction of history. Curators at the third president’s mountaintop home have been using Jefferson’s detailed journals, archaeological finds and other research to expand Monticello’s stories beyond the great man and his achievements. They are also speaking to a wider audience that includes a growing number of black visitors and other minorities, said Leni Sorensen, African American research historian at Monticello. “It isn’t that (visitors) aren’t inter