Freethought Almanac

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October 27, 2014
October 27: Desiderius Erasmus

Desiderius Erasmus (1466) It was on this date, October 27, 1466, that the Dutch author, and the greatest humanist scholar of the northern Renaissance, Desiderius Erasmus was born Gerrit Gerritszoon in Rotterdam, in what is now the Netherlands. He was the product of a liaison between a housekeeper-niece and a Dutch priest. Ordained a priest […]

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October 11, 2011
October 11: Fidei Defensor

Henry VIII (1521): Defender of the Faith It was on this date, October 11, 1521,* that Pope Leo X conferred the title Fidei Defensor, which is Latin for "Defender of the Faith," on England's King Henry VIII. That Medici pope, whose profligate spending and perverse pleasures were the outrage of Rome, was a staunch opponent […]

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May 3, 2011
May 3: Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469) It was on this date, May 3, 1469, that Niccolò Machiavelli was born Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli in Florence, in what is now Italy. Florence had been ruled by the powerful Medici family since 1434, and was constantly at war with its neighboring city-states when not fending off outside aggressors. But […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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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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