Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
January 28, 2015
Sarah MacLachlan (1968)

It was on this date, January 28, 1968, that Canadian musician Sarah McLachlan was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She started singing at age four. Not only does her voice attract fans, with songs like "Adia," "Angel," "Hold On," and "Sweet Surrender" — yielding three Grammy Awards — but McLachlan has also distinguished herself as […]

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September 25, 2014
September 25: A Secular Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights Passed by the U.S. Congress (1789) It was on this date, September 25, 1789, that the U.S. Congress passed and sent for ratification the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which came to be known as the Bill of Rights. To Freethinkers, the most important amendment is the first, yet when most […]

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September 5, 2014
September 5: Religion and Terror

The Reign of Terror (1793) and the Churches It was on this date, September 5, 1793, that an 11-month Reign of Terror began in France. Sometimes called the Red Terror, to distinguish it from the equally brutal but little-mentioned White Terror which followed it, the Reign of Terror lasted until the execution of Maximilian Robespierre […]

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August 12, 2014
August 12: George Soros (1930)

It was on this date, August 12, 1930, that Hungarian-born American multi-billionaire, business magnate, investor and philanthropist George Soros was born Schwartz György in Budapest. His family name was changed in 1936 from Schwartz to Soros because of systemic anti-Semitism. In 1947, Soros emigrated from Hungary to England. Soros earned a BSc in philosophy in […]

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August 3, 2014
August 3: Étienne Dolet

Étienne Dolet (1509) It was on this date, August 3, 1546, that the French scholar and printer of books critical of religion, Étienne Dolet, was burned alive for his opinions. Dolet was born in Orléans in 1509, possibly also on 3 August, and possibly into a family of wealth and rank. Dolet studied in Paris […]

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July 14, 2014
July 14: Bastille Day (1789)

Bastille Day (1789) It was on this date, July 14, 1789, in the morning, that French citizens stormed and destroyed the hated Bastille prison in Paris, ending a symbol of the human rights abuses by King Louis XVI—who had in fact supported the American colonists in their quest for independence from Great Britain—and beginning 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 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 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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April 15, 2014
April 15: Emma Thompson (1959)

It was on this date, April 15, 1959, that British actor, screenwriter and author Emma Thompson was born in Paddington, London, England, into a family of actors. At Newnham College, Cambridge, Thompson she became the first female member of the Footlights troupe. She won her first film role in 1989 in The Tall Guy. That […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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