Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2011-08-18
August 18: Superstition Eclipsed

King of Siam's Eclipse (1868): Churches and Eclipses It was on this date, August 18, 1868, that a total solar eclipse, called the King of Siam's Eclipse, Saros Series 133, was seen in what is now Thailand. This was during the reign of the very same King Mongkut who figures in the book by Anna […]

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2011-08-17
August 17: The Soul of Confession

Bill Clinton's "Map Room" Speech (1998): Churches and Confession It was on this date, August 17, 1998, that then-President Bill Clinton made his famous Map Room speech – a confession that he did indeed have inappropriate sexual relations with White House intern Monica Lewinski. Although not a Roman Catholic, President Clinton's simultaneously regretful and defiant […]

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2011-08-17
August 17: Sean Penn

Sean Penn (1960) It was on this date, August 17, 1960, that actor and director Sean Penn was born Sean Justin Penn in Santa Monica, California. As Penn himself put it, "I was brought up in a country that relished fear-based religion, corrupt government, and an entire white population living on stolen property that they […]

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2011-08-16
August 16: Wilhelm Wundt

Wilhelm Max Wundt (1832) It was on this date, August 16, 1832, that German psychologist Wilhelm Max Wundt was born. He studied at Tübingen University from 1851 and took his MD at the University of Heidelberg in 1856 (the year Sigmund Freud was born). He began as a professor of physiology, but from 1875-1917, Wundt […]

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2011-08-15
August 15: Napoleon

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769) It was on this date, August 15, 1769, that Napoleone Buonaparte, later to become the French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte, was born in Ajaccio on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, now part of Italy. He entered a Parisian military academy and rose quickly to become one of the greatest military commanders in […]

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2011-08-14
August 14: John Galsworthy

John Galsworthy (1867) It was on this date, August 14, 1867, that British novelist and dramatist John Galsworthy was born into a prosperous family in Kingston Hill, Surrey. He was educated at Harrow and studied law at New College, Oxford. Galsworthy took to travel and, in 1893 met the novelist Joseph Conrad – afterward deciding […]

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2011-08-14
August 14: Russell Baker

Russell Baker (1925) It was on this date, August 14, 1925, that US journalist, humorist and biographer Russell Baker was born in Loudon County, Virginia. His father died early on and his hard-working mother reared him and his sisters during the Great Depression. Baker managed to get himself into Johns Hopkins University, where he studied […]

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2011-08-13
August 13: Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro (1926) It was on this date, August 13, 1926, that Cuban revolutionist and President-for-life Fidel Castro Ruz was born in Mayari, Cuba. Educated from the first by Jesuits, Castro took a Ph.D. in law in 1945 at Colegio Belén, a Jesuit preparatory school, in Havana. After 1950, he practiced law. The Fulgencio Batista […]

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2011-08-12
August 12: The Last Temptation of Christ

The Last Temptation of Christ Released (1988) It was on this date, August 12, 1988, that Martin Scorsese's film, The Last Temptation of Christ, was released in the United States. Even before it opened in nine theaters across the US (initially), the film had inspired controversy – not only from the usual, narrow-minded fundamentalists, who […]

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2011-08-11
August 11: Robert Green Ingersoll

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833) It was on this date, August 11, 1833, that the most eloquent advocate of Freethought, Robert Green Ingersoll, was born in Dresden, New York, the son of a Congregationalist minister. In Peoria, Illinois, he trained in the law before enlisting in the Union Army during the Civil War, where he was […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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November 19: Jodie Foster

I absolutely believe ... that there is no direct evidence, so how could you ask me to believe in God when there's absolutely no evidence that I can see?



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