Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2013-06-19
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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2013-03-09
March 9: Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau (1749)

It was on this date, March 9, 1749, that French writer, diplomat, journalist and revolutionist Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau was born. Before the French Revolution, Mirabeau was an officer in the army and was several times prosecuted for his courageous criticisms of the feudal system that kept the masses enslaved to the land. […]

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2013-02-22
February 22: August Bebel (1840)

It was on this date, February 22, 1840, that German Marxist politician, writer, and orator August Bebel was born Ferdinand August Bebel in Deutz, Germany, now a part of Cologne. A product of the working class himself, with Wilhelm Liebknecht (1826-1900), Bebel was a co-founder of the Marxist Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1896. […]

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2012-03-15
March 15: Cesare Beccaria

Cesare Beccaria (1738) It was on this date, March 15, 1738, the famous Italian legal reformer Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria-Bonesana, was born in Milan. He opposed the death penalty and believed education would reduce crime – a belief borne out in practice so frequently to this day that only a Christian Dominionist would dispute it. […]

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2011-11-11
November 11: Joseph McCabe

Joseph McCabe (1867) It was on this date, November 11, 1867, that Freethought writer Joseph Martin McCabe was born in Manchester, the product of Protestant East Anglians and Irish Catholic stock. He was named Joseph, after the saint, because he was, from infancy, promised to the priesthood. He entered the priesthood at age 16 and […]

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2011-11-08
November 8: Émile Combes

Émile Combes and Church-State Separation (1904) It was on this date, November 8, 1904, that leftist French statesman Émile Combes introduced a bill for the separation of Church and State into the legislature of France. Born Justin Louis Émile Combes in Roquecourbe in the Tarn Départment on 6 September 1835, Combes at first studied for […]

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2011-10-30
October 30: John Adams

John Adams (1735) It was on this date, October 30, 1735, that the second president of the United States, John Adams, was born in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard, where he first intended to study for the orthodox ministry, but the reality of orthodoxy sobered him and he turned to the law. […]

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2011-10-13
October 13: Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce (1925) It was on this date, October 13, 1925, that American comedian Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider on Long Island, New York. As the name might suggest, Bruce grew up a tough Jewish kid who expressed his ethnicity with humor. "You and I know what a Jew is," he said. "One […]

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2011-10-05
October 5: Denis Diderot

Denis Diderot (1713) On this date, October 5, 1713, the most famous French Encyclopedist, Denis Diderot, was born in Langres. Educated by the Jesuits (1728-1732), he took the opportunity to read everything that came his way, and then escaped before they could ordain him. Diderot gradually lost his faith between his Essay on Merit and […]

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2011-10-05
October 5: Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof (1954) It was on this date, October 5, 1954, that musician and humanitarian Bob Geldof was born in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland. He was one of the founders in Dublin of the Boomtown Rats. In 1984, after witnessing the starvation in Ethiopia, Geldof wrote "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and got some […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


Daily Almanac

Week in Freethought History (May 27-June 2)

Here’s your Week in Freethought History: This is more than just a calendar of events or mini-biographies – it’s a reminder that, no matter how isolated and alone we may feel at times, we as freethinkers are neither unique nor alone in the world. Last Sunday, May 27, was the 78th birthday of the science […]



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