Today, we remember Thomas Jefferson’s work in writing Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom (full text here) which was adopted by the Virginia legislature on January 16, 1786. From Obama’s presidential proclamation:
When the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was adopted on January 16, 1786, it formed a blueprint for what would become the basis for the protection of religious liberty enshrined in our Constitution. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the statute proclaims that “all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
You can read a Congressional resolution celebrating the day here.
Unrelated, but it is very good news that Iran has released 5 American prisoners today as well.