The Thomas Jefferson Hour


  • History Focused Shows
  • News and Talk

The Thomas Jefferson Hour® is a weekly radio program dedicated to the search for truth in the tradition of Thomas Jefferson. Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, was a man of the Enlightenment, a student of human nature and gentlemanly behavior, and he applied this to his personal life as well as to both the national and world wide challenges he faced during the forming of our nation. Nationally acclaimed humanities scholar and award winning first person interpreter of Thomas Jefferson, Clay Jenkinson, portrays Jefferson on the program, and he answers listener questions while in the persona of Jefferson – his answers are grounded in the writings and actions of the great man.

The show’s mission is to generate one-on-one discourse between friends and family members, then to help broaden it to national discourse (replace the 30-second, two position only sound bites) about important, and many times sensitive, topics to our country and to our citizens. This is done in a unique and entertaining way – through the voice of our third president Thomas Jefferson.

Listeners have encouraged the show’s producers to sprinkle the program lineup with out-of-character programs. The format is one of Clay Jenkinson, the humanities scholar and social commentator, examining a current or historical event using both a Jeffersonian lens and a modern-day humanities lens. The gift to both program formats is the ability to help people strip through the advertised message and look for the truth of the situation. The truth may be painful and self-revealing, but it is always uplifting to the spirit.

The Thomas Jefferson Hour® appeals to Public Radio listeners, not just history buffs. While some of the primary stations on which the show airs are in historical areas (Norfolk and Radford, Va.) or areas that are Jeffersonian (North Dakota, Kansas, Texas), its largest listening audience occurs in postmodern regions such as Fresno, California and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The program’s appeal truly is its ability to bring out the truth in a non-dramatic, unthreatening manner then to help our audience think through the complexity of the decision making process, bringing clarity to the steps and the events.
The host and producer of the program is David Swenson, Grammy nominee, documentary videographer, and owner of Makoché Studios. David is a new addtion to the The Thomas Jefferson Hour® since its move to Bismarck, North Dakota and brings a fresh and entertaining perspective to the broadcast.
The program is produced at Makoché Studios in Bismarck, North Dakota.
The program is funded by The Dakota Institute  through The Lewis & Clark, Fort Mandan Foundation , a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Prairie Public Radio provides the up-linking of the program, making it currently downloadable from satellite for radio stations.

Visit the show website


  • Tuesday - 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


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