Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2013-06-22
June 22: Julian Huxley (1887)

It was on this date, June 22, 1887, that evolutionary biologist Julian Sorell Huxley was born in London. He was educated at Oxford and later taught there, distinguishing himself in biology and in many scientific and other writings, including editing his grandfather's Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake (1935), an account of Thomas Henry […]

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2013-06-21
June 21: Jean-Paul Sartre (1905)

It was on this date, June 21, 1905, that French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris. Through his mother, Anne-Marie Schweitzer, Sartre was a great nephew of medical missionary Albert Schweitzer. He grew up fatherless and was reared by his grandfather, who called him Poulou. Working as a teacher from 1931 to 1945 […]

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2013-06-19
June 19: José Rizal (1861)

Rizal believed in peaceful reform – as well as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to a fair trial. He died an anti-clerical Catholic and was declared a national hero of the Philippines.

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2013-06-18
June 18: Alphonse Laveran (1845)

It was on this date, June 18, 1845, that French epidemiologist Alphonse Laveran was born Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran in Paris, the son of an army doctor. His first medical training was as an army doctor in the Franco-Prussian War. Laveran’s keen observations—after observing the parasites in a blood smear taken from a patient who […]

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2013-06-18
June 18: American Library Association Adopts “Library Bill of Rights” (1948)

It was on this date, June 18, 1948, that the American Library Association adopted its “Library Bill of Rights,”* an affirmation that libraries are charged with providing the information and ideas necessary for an informed populace and a vibrant democracy. It has been amended twice since 1948 and its current version is still less than […]

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2013-06-17
June 17: Creating the “Sherbert Test” (1963): Burdens on Religious Practice

It was on this date, June 17, 1963, that the U.S. Supreme Court decided 7-2 in Sherbert v. Verner (374 U.S. 398 (1963)), creating the “Sherbert Test,” and saying that adherents of minority faiths cannot be disadvantaged by government without a compelling interest in limiting free exercise of religion. When a textile mill worker was […]

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2013-06-17
June 17: Barry Manilow (1943)

It was on this date, June 17, 1943, that American singer-songwriter and producer Barry Manilow was born. Best known for such recordings as “Mandy,” “Can't Smile Without You,” “Could It Be Magic” (which samples Frédéric Chopin's Prelude in C Minor), “I Write the Songs” (which he didn’t write) and “Copacabana,” Manilow has sold more than […]

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2013-06-15
This Week in Freethought History (June 9-15)

Read about peace activist Bertha von Suttner, the Treaty with Tripoli, the religion of Alexander Bain and Hugh Laurie, Wat Tyler’s Rebellion, the religion of William Butler Yeats, adding religion to the Pledge of Allegiance, condemning Martin Luther from a glass house, and more …

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2013-06-11
June 11: Hugh Laurie (1959)

It was on this date, June 11, 1959, that the English actor, comedian, and writer, best known as star of the television show “House, MD,” Hugh Laurie was born. He was active in the 1980s and 1990s as half of a comedy duo, Fry and Laurie, performing with longtime friend and fellow atheist Stephen Fry. […]

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2013-06-11
June 11: Alexander Bain (1818)

It was on this date, June 11, 1818, that Scottish psychologist, philosopher and educator Alexander Bain was born in Aberdeen. Bain was one of the foremost psychologists and educationists of the 19th century, although he distinguished himself in logic and linguistics in grammar and rhetoric, as well. In spite of religious hostility to his naturalist […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


Daily Almanac

This Week in Freethought History (December 22-28)

Read about the first Jubilee, decoder of hieroglyphics Jean François Champollion, poet Matthew Arnold, stealing Christmas, The Scariest Movie of All Time, German-American entertainer Marlene Dietrich, non-believers in Westminster Abbey, and more …



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