Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
November 10, 2011
November 10: Friedrich von Schiller

Friedrich von Schiller (1759) It was on this date, November 10, 1759, that Germany's second-greatest poet (after Goethe), Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, was born in Marbach, Württemberg, of pious Lutheran parents. Rather than study theology, Schiller went to military school, but was dismissed for writing an essay critical of religion (On the Relation Between […]

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January 31, 2011
January 31: Franz Schubert

Sir George Grove says, "of formal or dogmatic religion we can find no trace," in Schubert's short life. Of creeds, "Not a word of it is true," said Schubert.

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January 27, 2011
January 27: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

You can search in vain for any more "religious" inspiration in Mozart's Requiem than can be found in his Little Night Music, Magic Flute or Jupiter Symphony.

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December 11, 2010
December 11: Hector Berlioz

As his own end drew near, Berlioz maintained his disbelief in God and immortality. In one of his last letters, written shortly before his death, Berlioz wrote his creed: "I believe nothing."

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November 10, 2010
November 10: Richard Burton + Friedrich Schiller

Richard Burton (1925) It was on this date, November 10, 1925, that Welsh actor Richard Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins Jr. in Pontrydyfen, the twelfth of thirteen children, born to a hard-drinking miner. He took his stage and screen name from a schoolmaster who helped him enter Oxford, Philip Burton, and studied acting there. […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer




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