Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2012-02-15
February 15: Susan B. Anthony (1820)

It was on this date, February 15, 1820, that American feminist and social reformer Susan B. Anthony was born Susan Brownell Anthony in Adams, Massachusetts, into a strict Quaker family. Nevertheless, Anthony was taught from youth the virtues of self-discipline, principled convictions, and belief in one’s own self-worth, and developed a sense of justice and […]

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2012-02-15
February 15: Galileo (1564)

It was on this date, February 15, 1564, that Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, now in Italy but then a dependency of the city-state of Florence. Galileo had proven through direct observation what Nicolaus Copernicus had only conjectured through reason and mathematics 72 years earlier: that the sun, not the earth, stands at the […]

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2012-02-14
February 14: Teller (1948)

It was on this date, February 14, 1948, that the American magician and comedian known by the single name of Teller was born Raymond Joseph Teller in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Teller is the non-speaking half of the Penn & Teller act, appearing most recently on the Showtime cable series “Penn & Teller: Bullshit!” exposing frauds and […]

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2012-02-13
February 13: Churches v. Education

It was on this date, February 13, 1635, that a headmaster (Philemon Pormont) was selected to administer the first U.S. public school, Boston Latin School. It is useful to note that, although the first public school in the U.S. was founded by a clergyman, throughout the history of Christianity the churches have been either indifferent […]

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2012-02-12
February 12: Abraham Lincoln (1809)

It was on this date, February 12, 1809 (the same date as British naturalist Charles Darwin), that Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin County, Kentucky. The family moved to Indiana when Lincoln was eight, his mother died when he was ten, but Honest Abe not only earned a living through hard work, he managed to […]

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2012-02-12
February 12: Charles Darwin (1809)

It was on this date, February 12, 1809 (the same date as American politician Abraham Lincoln), that British naturalist Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury. He was set to study theology at Christ’s College, Cambridge, but gave it up for a chance to study nature aboard the HMS Beagle, during a voyage to Patagonia (South […]

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2012-02-11
February 11: Thomas Edison (1847)

It was on this date, February 11, 1847, that Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio. In his entire life he had only three months of formal education. His mother educated Edison at home. By age ten Edison had read Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason: “I can still remember the flash of enlightenment that […]

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2012-02-10
February 10: Charles Lamb (1775)

It was on this date, February 10, 1775, that British essayist Charles Lamb was born in London. While studying at Christ’s Hospital, he formed a deep friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and also befriended William Godwin. Lamb’s London circle of friends favoring political reform included Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Hazlitt, Henry Brougham, Lord Byron, Thomas […]

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2012-02-10
February 10: Bertolt Brecht (1898)

It was on this date, February 10, 1898, that German dramatist Berthold Brecht was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, the product of a Catholic father and a Protestant mother. Being attracted to Socialism and to theater, Brecht combined the two and became a leading reformer on the 20th century stage. Brecht wrote in his Diaries, “The […]

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2012-02-09
February 9: First Public Strip-tease (1893): Religion v. Nudity

It was on this date, February 9, 1893, that the first public strip-tease took place in Paris. Perhaps Mona, an artist’s model who thought she had more than just the prettiest legs, and, to prove it, jumped nude onto a table for the art students, was unaware that she was making history. She got a […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


Daily Almanac

February 16: Natalie Angier

“I'm an Atheist,” says Angier. “I don't believe in God, Gods, Godlets or any sort of higher power beyond the universe itself.... I'm convinced that the world as we see it was shaped by … evolution through natural selection.”



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