Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2011-11-08
November 8: Edmund Halley

Edmund Halley (1656) It was on this date, November 8,* 1656, that British astronomer Sir Edmond Halley was born in Hagerston, Middlesex, England (now London), the son of a wealthy merchant. He was educated at Oxford and before graduating took his first astronomical field trip in 1676, to the British-controlled island of St. Helena, where […]

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2011-07-23
July 23: Alan Hale

Alan Hale and Comet Hale-Bopp (1995) It was on this date, July 23, 1995, that Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered by Alan Hale and, independently, by Thomas Bopp. Working as a shift supervisor in a construction materials company, Bopp, an amateur astronomer, observed the celestial event in Glendale, Arizona. A professional astronomer, Alan Hale made his […]

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2010-11-08
November 8: Church-State Separation + Edmund Halley

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, Combes at first studied for the priesthood. After becoming […]

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This Week in Freethought History (May 5-11)

Read about John William Draper’s “Conflict,” Sigmund Freud, David Hume, Edward Gibbon, The Pill and freedom for women, book burning by Nazis and other fanatics, Irving “God Bless America” Berlin, and more …



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