Freethought Almanac

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December 29: Paula Poundstone (1959)

It was on this date, December 29, 1959, that American stand-up comedian and writer Paula Poundstone was born in Huntsville, Alabama, but grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts, where she dropped out of high school to pursue show business. Now known for her trademark suits and ties, Poundstone started doing stand-up in Boston in 1979, then […]

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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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December 27: Marlene Dietrich (1901)

It was on this date, December 27, 1901, that German-American actress and singer Marlene Dietrich was born Marie Magdalene Dietrich in Schöneberg, now a district of Berlin, Germany. Nicknamed “Lena” by her family, around age 11 she contracted her two first names to become “Marlene.” Early on, she became a performer, working briefly as a […]

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This Week in Freethought History (December 15-21)

Read about Christianity and the law, comedian Bill Hicks, keeping the Saturn in Saturnalia, actor Brad Pitt, Dickens takes the Christ out of Christmas, philosopher Sidney Hook, musician Frank Zappa, and more …

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December 16: Bill Hicks (1961)

It was on this date, December 16, 1961, that American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and musician Bill Hicks was born in Valdosta, Georgia. The family settled in Houston, Texas, by the time Hicks was seven. Drawn to comedy early, he was influenced by Richard Pryor and began to emulate Woody Allen. Hicks also got […]

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This Week in Freethought History (December 8-14)

Read about the first published atheist – Baron d’Holbach, American actor John Malkovich, Spanish Arab-Muslim philosopher Averroës, French composer Hector Berlioz, French novelist Gustave Flaubert, the failure of the Council of Trent, Sir John Oldcastle and the Lollard heresy, and more …

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This Week in Freethought History (December 1-7)

Read about American comedienne Sarah Silverman, Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes, American actress Julianne Moore, British writer Samuel Butler, “Monty Python’s” last “Flying Circus,” American inventor Thomas Edison, American linguist and progressive activist Noam Chomsky, and more …

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December 7: Noam Chomsky (1928)

It was on this date, December 7, 1928, that American linguist, logician, political commentator and activist Noam Chomsky was born Avram Noam Chomsky into an affluent Jewish family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His family was highly educated and instilled in Chomsky a love of learning that took him to the University of Pennsylvania at age 16. […]

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December 3: Julianne Moore (1960)

It was on this date, December 3, 1960, that British-American actress Julianne Moore was born Julie Anne Smith in the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, army installation, the daughter of a military father who later became a military judge and a psychologist/social worker mother who had emigrated from Scotland. Because of her mother’s heritage, Moore claimed […]

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December 1: Sarah Silverman (1970)

It was on this date, December 1, 1970, that American comedienne, writer, and actress Sarah Silverman was born Sarah Kate Silverman into a Jewish family in Manchester, NH. Silverman says she was not “raised with any religion,” only considering herself ethnically Jewish. Her comic style addresses social taboos and controversial topics such as racism, sexism, […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.

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August 6: Asia Carrera

Asia Carrera (1973) It was on this date, August 6, 1973, that the erotic actress and self-styled computer geek known as Asia Carrera was born Jessica Andrea Steinhauser in New York City to a Japanese father and a German mother. Eurasian genes and some later cosmetic surgery contributed to her stunning good looks, but the […]

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