Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2011-08-21
August 21: Jules Michelet

Jules Michelet (1798) It was on this date, August 21, 1798, that French historian Jules Michelet was born in Paris, into a family with a Huguenot past. Of his youth, under the post-revolutionary, reactionary French government, Michelet recalled, I remember that in the dire misfortunes of daily deprivation and fears for the future... unsure of […]

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2011-08-20
August 20: Bernardo O'Higgins

Bernardo O'Higgins (1778) It was on this date, August 20, 1778, that the Irish-Chilean soldier and statesman Bernardo O'Higgins was born Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme in Chillán, Chile. His father was an Irish engineer who refused to marry his mother, the daughter of an aristocratic Chilean family. His absent father at least saw that O'Higgins was […]

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2011-08-18
August 18: Superstition Eclipsed

King of Siam's Eclipse (1868): Churches and Eclipses It was on this date, August 18, 1868, that a total solar eclipse, called the King of Siam's Eclipse, Saros Series 133, was seen in what is now Thailand. This was during the reign of the very same King Mongkut who figures in the book by Anna […]

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2011-08-17
August 17: Sean Penn

Sean Penn (1960) It was on this date, August 17, 1960, that actor and director Sean Penn was born Sean Justin Penn in Santa Monica, California. As Penn himself put it, "I was brought up in a country that relished fear-based religion, corrupt government, and an entire white population living on stolen property that they […]

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2011-08-13
August 13: Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro (1926) It was on this date, August 13, 1926, that Cuban revolutionist and President-for-life Fidel Castro Ruz was born in Mayari, Cuba. Educated from the first by Jesuits, Castro took a Ph.D. in law in 1945 at Colegio Belén, a Jesuit preparatory school, in Havana. After 1950, he practiced law. The Fulgencio Batista […]

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2011-07-30
July 30: E. Haldeman-Julius

E. Haldeman-Julius (1889) It was on this date, July 30, 1889, that Emanuel Julius was born in a Philadelphia tenement – later to become known as the book publisher E. Haldeman-Julius. Emanuel left school at age 13 to seek his fortune as a writer in New York and got a job on a Socialist newspaper, […]

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2011-07-27
July 27: Giosuè Carducci

Giosuè Carducci (1835) It was on this date, July 27, 1835, that Nobel-winning Italian poet Giosuè Alessandro Michele Carducci was born in Valdicastello, a small town in the Province of Lucca in the northwest corner of the region of Tuscany. He studied philosophy at the University of Pisa, was professor of literature at Bologna University, […]

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2011-07-23
July 24: Simón Bolívar

Simón Bolívar (1783) It was on this date, July 24, 1783, that South American liberator and president Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar - Simón Bolívar - was born in Caracas, Venezuela. His parents were wealthy, but they died early. Bolívar inherited a fortune that assured him of a quality education, partly in […]

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2011-07-12
July 12: Günther Anders

Günther Anders (1902) It was on this date, July 12, 1902, that Austrian philosopher Günther Anders, originally Günther Siegmund Stern, was born in Breslau, the offspring of Clara and William Stern, founders of child psychology. An assimilated Jewish intellectual, he found that there were too many writers using the name Stern, so his editor suggested […]

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2011-07-10
July 10: Religious Bigotry in Geneva

"Calvin was ... as nearly like the God of the Old Testament as his health permitted." - Robert Ingersoll

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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