Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2013-11-23
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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2013-11-18
November 18: Patrick Blackett (1897)

It was on this date, November 18, 1897, that English experimental physicist Patrick Blackett was born Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett in Kensington, London. From a childhood interest in model airplanes and wireless (crystal radio), he won entry to the Royal Naval College, Osborne, Isle of Wight. When World War I broke out, Blackett was assigned […]

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2013-09-11
September 11: Gherman S. Titov (1935)

It was on this date, September 11, 1935, that Soviet Cosmonaut Gherman S. Titov (Герман С. Титов), was born in the Altai Republic, southern USSR. He studied at the Stalingrad Military Aviation School and, after graduating as an air force pilot, he was selected for cosmonaut training in 1960. Titov became, on 6-7 August 1961, […]

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2013-09-08
September 8: Michael Shermer (1954)

It was on this date, September 8, 1954, that American science writer and science historian Michael Shermer was born Michael Brant Shermer in Glendale, California. Shermer earned a B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, an M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and a Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate […]

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2013-08-25
August 25: Forging the Shroud of Turin (1978)

Shroud of Turin (1978) It was on this date, August 25, 1978, that the famous Shroud of Turin, still venerated as the burial cloth of the crucified Jesus, went on public display for the first time in 45 years. Since 1578 the shroud, or sindon, has been housed at Turin, where it is only displayed […]

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2013-08-01
August 1: James Gleick (1954)

It was on this date, August 1, 1954, that American science writer James Gleick was born in New York City. A Harvard graduate, Gleick worked for ten years as an editor and reporter for the New York Times. He not only profiled many scientists for the Times, including evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, but wrote […]

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2013-06-22
June 22: Galileo Recants (1633)

It was on this date, June 22, 1633, that Florentine-Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 to 8 January 1642) was compelled by the Roman Catholic Inquisition to recant the theory he held that the earth travels around the sun. What seems obvious to us today was unscriptural, and therefore by definition untrue, in Galileo's […]

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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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2013-06-18
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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2013-04-26
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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Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


Daily Almanac

September 17: Marquis de Condorcet

Marquis de Condorcet (1743) It was on this date, September 17, 1743, that French mathematician and political philosopher Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, was born in Ribemont, Picardy, France. His father died early, so his mother, a very devout woman, had Condorcet educated at Jesuit Colleges in Reims and at the Collège […]



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