Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
November 23, 2014
November 23: Ronald Bruce Meyer (1954)

It was on this date, November 23, 1954, that American voice actor, educator and atheist blogger Ronald Bruce Meyer was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the first of three children, to a homemaker mother (d. 2002) and a utility company executive (now retired). As he likes to point out, he was born 310 years to the […]

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July 6, 2014
July 6: Peter Singer (1946)

It was on this date, July 6, 1946, that Australian moral philosopher Peter Singer was born Peter Albert David Singer in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The product of Viennese Jewish parents who emigrated after Austria’s annexation by Nazi Germany, three of his four grandparents were killed or disappeared by the Nazis. Singer is currently the Ira […]

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June 1, 2014
June 1: Morgan Freeman (1937)

It was on this date, June 1, 1937, that American actor, film director, and narrator Morgan Freeman was born. Freeman has earned Academy Award nominations for his performances in Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Invictus (2009), as well as winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the 2004 fight film Million […]

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May 10, 2014
May 10: Cecelia Payne (1900)

It was on this date, May 10, 1900, that British-American astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin was born Cecilia Helena Payne in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, England. Losing her father when she was four years old, Cecelia’s mother portioned the family resources to educating her brothers instead of her, but she nevertheless won a scholarship to Newnham College, […]

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May 4, 2014
May 4: Horace Mann

Mann believed in an impersonal God but rejected immortality. The Dictionary of American Biography described him as "a Puritan without a theology."

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March 26, 2014
March 26: Paul Erdős (1913)

It was on this date, March 26, 1913, that Hungarian mathematician and mathematical problem-solver Paul Erdős was born in Budapest, the son of two professional mathematicians. Although born into a Hungarian Jewish family (the original family name was Engländer), neither of his parents were observant Jews – but they did introduce young Paul to mathematics, […]

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January 8, 2014
January 8: Stephen Hawking (1942)

It was on this date, January 8, 1942, that English theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author of A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford. He entered Oxford University in 1959, showing an interest in classical music and science fiction as well as physics and cosmology. With a reputation as something of a […]

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December 7, 2013
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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November 23, 2013
November 23: Jennifer Michael Hecht (1965)

It was on this date, November 23, 1965, that American poet, historian, philosopher, and author Jennifer Michael Hecht was born on Long Island, in New York. By 1995 she had earned her Ph.D. in the History of Science from Columbia University, where she now teaches poetry in the Graduate Writing Program, while also teaching poetry […]

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October 18, 2013
October 18: Rebecca Watson (1980)

It was on this date, October 18, 1980, that American blogger and podcast host Rebecca Watson was born. Sometimes known as “The Skepchick,” Watson is the founder of the “Skepchick” blog and, from 2006, co-hosts “The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe” podcast. Watson grew up in New Jersey and earned a Bachelor of Science degree […]

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