Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
November 30, 2011
When Were Apologies Offered?

Occasionally, I’m treated to extended anecdotes via e-mail from my brother. He doesn’t write them, of course, but he agrees with them and passes them on, usually without looking any deeper into them (or even correcting the spelling and grammar). The following series of anecdotes is no exception. Under the subject line “No Apologies Accepted,” […]

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November 30, 2011
November 30: Mark Twain (1835)

It was on this date, November 30, 1835, that American writer and humorist Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, but brought up in Hannibal, Missouri. Although first encountering writers by apprenticing to a printer, he became a Mississippi riverboat pilot and adopted his pen-name from the call – “Mark twain!” meaning […]

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November 29, 2011
November 29: Louis XVI Recognizes Protestants (1787)

Religious Toleration It was on this date, November 29, 1787, that King Louis XVI (1754-1793) promulgated an edict of tolerance, granting civil status to Protestants under French law. French Protestants, then called Huguenots, had gained toleration a century before for their religious beliefs (and respite from the Wars of Religion) with the Edict of Nantes, […]

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November 28, 2011
November 28: Sir Leslie Stephen (1832)

It was on this date, November 28, 1832, that the British writer, and first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography (1885-1891), Leslie Stephen was born in Kensington Gore, London. Brought up in a Clapham Sect household of Christians, Stephen was educated first at Eton, then graduated from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he excelled in […]

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November 28, 2011
November 28: Randy Newman (1943)

It was on this date, November 28, 1943, that American songwriter and singer Randy Newman was born Randall Stuart Newman in Los Angeles. In his youth, he spent time in New Orleans with his mother’s family, and was influenced by the music there. He is the nephew of Al Newman, who wrote classic movie scores […]

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November 27, 2011
Hammurabi and the 99%

By Ronald Bruce Meyer 11/27/2011 I am not a scholar but a fan of history. I also believe strongly in public support of public education, so that even childless citizens are not compelled to live among morons. So, hearing about what a crisis the American education system is in – so much so that it […]

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November 27, 2011
November 27: Let God Sort Them Out

It was on this date, November 27, 1095, that Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont. The purpose of the Crusade was to answer an appeal for help that Urban had received from the Byzantine Emperor, Alexius I Komnenos, to relieve the pressure by the Seljuk Turks on the Eastern […]

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November 26, 2011
November 26: Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz (1922) It was on this date, November 26, 1922, that the creator of Snoopy, Lucy, Charlie Brown and the other characters of the "Peanuts" comics world, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, was born in St. Paul Minnesota. There is little dispute that Schulz, or "Sparky," as his friends called him, started out his […]

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November 26, 2011
November 26: A Secular Thanksgiving (1621-1941)

It was on this date, November 26, 1941, that U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Although today this thoroughly American holiday is commemorated by church services and family gatherings, and Presidents George Washington (a Deist) and Abraham Lincoln […]

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November 25, 2011
The Little Old Lady and Her Prayer

My brother treated me to this e-mail today (11/25/11). In church on Sunday, I overheard the little old lady in the pew next to me saying a short private prayer. It was so sweet and sincere that I just had to share it with you: “Dear Lord, These past couple of years has been tough.... […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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