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March 8: Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841)

It was on this date, March 8, 1841, that The Great Dissenter on the US Supreme Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr was born. His distinction as The Great Dissenter arose from many legal dissents issued on the Supreme Court that nevertheless were incorporated into common law. Holmes once wrote (in dissent): “the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.” Throughout most of his legal life, his religious opinion can be said to have been Unitarian. It was Holmes who said to a reporter on his 90th birthday, “Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered that I was not God.”

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Originally published March 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


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October 10: Fridtjof Nansen

Fridtjof Nansen (1861) It was on this date, October 10, 1861, that Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen was born Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen. He grew up in Frøen, on the outskirts of Christiania (now Oslo), at that time a rural area that hardened Nansen for his life's work. Nansen loved the outdoors and his parents instilled in […]



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