Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
June 14, 2014
June 14: Che Guevara (1928)

It was on this date, June 14, 1928, that Argentine-born Marxist revolutionist, physician and military leader Che Guevara was born Ernesto Guevara (Lynch) in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. He grew up in a family which already had leftist leanings, but which also valued education: Guevara’s reading list not only included Karl Marx but William Faulkner, […]

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May 12, 2014
May 12: Florence Nightingale

"I am so glad that my God is not the God of the High Church or of the Low," said Nightingale. She despised the churches and was an advanced Rationalist.

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March 8, 2014
March 8: James Macartney (1770)

Macartney held that “every revelation, no matter whether it be real or supposed, must produce hatred and persecution among mankind...”

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June 19, 2013
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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June 18, 2013
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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April 26, 2013
April 26: Henry Charlton Bastian (1837)

It was on this date, April 26, 1837, that English physiologist and neurologist Henry Charlton Bastian was born in Truro, Cornwall. He graduated with an M.B. from the University of London in 1861. Bastian married in 1866 and eventually produced three sons and a daughter. He was professor of the Principles and Practice of Medicine […]

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November 7, 2011
November 7: Marie Curie

Marie Curie (1867) It was on this date, November 7, 1867, that French chemist and nuclear physicist Marie Curie was born Maria Salomea Skłodowska in Warsaw, Poland. She was brought up a Catholic by her mother, but her father was a freethinker and provided her with some scientific training. She abandoned Catholicism before she was […]

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October 13, 2011
October 13: Rudolf Virchow

Rudolf Virchow (1821) It was on this date, October 13, 1821, that German pathologist, anthropologist and politician, Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow, was born in Schivelbein, Pomerania, Prussia. Rudolf Virchow was one of the keenest minds in 19th century medicine in Europe, the founder of the science of cellular pathology – the theory that disease arises […]

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September 29, 2011
September 29: Michael Servetus

Michael Servetus (1511) It was on this date, September 29, 1511,* that the Spanish cleric Miguel Serveto, known by his Latinized name, Michael Servetus, was born in Villanueva. Recognizing an incipient intellect, at the age of 13, his father, a Roman Catholic cleric, sent his son to study at the University of Zaragoza/Lerida. It developed […]

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September 1, 2011
September 1: Auguste Forel

Auguste Forel (1848) It was on this date, September 1, 1848, that Swiss physiologist Auguste-Henri Forel was born in La Gracieuse, near Morges, Switzerland. He was fascinated as a boy with insects of all kinds, but was persuaded to study medicine at the University of Zürich, 1866-1871. In spite of that, he published papers on […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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