Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
October 31, 2011
October 31: The Reformer Priest

Martin Luther's Reformation (1517) It was on this date, October 31, 1517, that the Protestant Reformation began in Germany, when 31-year-old Martin Luther posted his 95 theses at Wittenberg Cathedral. That document attacked papal abuses and the sale of offices and indulgences by church officials. Furthermore, Luther argued several other points: • that Christian salvation […]

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October 31, 2011
October 31: John Keats

John Keats (1795) It was on this date, October 31, 1795, that British poet John Keats was born in London. His family was close, and when his father died in an 1804 riding accident, and his mother died of tuberculosis six years later, the 15-year-old Keats, two brothers and a sister, turned to each other. […]

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October 30, 2011
October 30: John Adams

John Adams (1735) It was on this date, October 30, 1735, that the second president of the United States, John Adams, was born in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard, where he first intended to study for the orthodox ministry, but the reality of orthodoxy sobered him and he turned to the law. […]

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October 29, 2011
October 29: The Faith of Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great Conquers Babylon (539 BCE):The End of the Babylonian "Captivity" It was on this date, October 29, 539 BCE, that the city of Babylon fell to the army led by Cyrus the Great (576-7/529 BCE), Emperor of Persia.[1] The city of Babylon, which was located south of Baghdad in what is now Iraq, […]

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October 28, 2011
October 28: Constantine the Christian

Constantine the Great (312 CE) It was on this date, October 28, 312 CE, that Roman emperor Constantine the Great, aged 32, is said to have conquered in the sign of the Christian faith. After seeing a vision of the Chi-Ro [ΧΡ] — indicating "Christ," his priestly advisors gleefully told him — he crossed the […]

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October 28, 2011
October 28: Bill Gates

Bill Gates (1955) It was on this date, October 28, 1955, that the entrepreneur who became chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corporation, the world's largest software firm, Bill Gates, was born in Seattle, Washington. Born William Henry Gates III, Bill Gates was an exceptional student. After co-founding Microsoft with friend Paul Allen, Gates used quasi-legal […]

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October 27, 2011
October 27: Niccolò Paganini

Niccolò Paganini (1782) It was on this date, October 27, 1782, that Italian virtuoso violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini was born in Genoa. Like Mozart, who was born 26 years earlier, Paganini was a child prodigy, composing a sonata at age eight and performing onstage from the age of eleven. He learned much from his […]

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October 26, 2011
October 26: Georges Danton

Georges Danton (1759) It was on this date, October 26, 1759, that French revolutionist Georges Jacques Danton was born in Arcis-sur-Aube. Though not from a wealthy family, he got a good education and became a lawyer before deciding the legal structure of France was inimical to freedom. He abandoned the law for revolutionary activities and, […]

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October 26, 2011
October 26: François Mitterand

François Mitterand (1916) It was on this date, October 26, 1916, that French President François Mitterand was born in Jarnac, Charente. Born into a conservative, a Roman Catholic family, Mitterrand first entered politics by way of the ultranationalist Croix de Feu organization, choosing it over the Vatican-opposed Action Française. Mitterand served as a junior minister […]

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October 25, 2011
October 25: Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer (d. 1400) It was on this date, October 25, 1400, that the first great poet in the English language, Geoffrey Chaucer, died at his home in London. His date of birth is unknown, though it is probably around 1340-1343. Chaucer became a celebrated poet during his lifetime, which did not interfere with his […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer




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