Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.

February 20: Robert Altman (1925)

It was on this date, February 20, 1925, that American film director Robert Altman was born (1925). Altman was educated in Jesuit schools prior to joining the Army at the age of 18, but he lost his religion soon after joining the military. Known for several important films, including the 1970 Korean War satire M*A*S*H, the avowedly nonpolitical Altman told an interviewer in 2004, “I have been against all of these wars ever since.” The interviewer observes, “… it’s worth noting that by the age of 20 this whistle-blower had resisted two of the most powerful institutions – church and army, both. He is an atheist.” Robert Altman, who died in 2006, once quipped, “What’s a cult? It just means not enough people to make a minority.”

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Originally published February 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


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September 20: Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair (1878) It was on this date, September 20, 1878, that American writer Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland. In a 67-year career, Sinclair published over 90 books, mostly novels with a social reform theme. But he began life as a religious boy – it is said his two great heroes were Jesus […]



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