Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2014-10-05
October 5: John Addington Symonds

John Addington Symonds (1840) It was on this date, October 5, 1840, that British writer John Addington Symonds was born in Bristol. He was educated at Oxford and married Janet Catherine North (sister of botanical artist Marianne North), on 10 November 1864, producing four daughters. Having health problems throughout his life, Symonds gave up the […]

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2011-10-31
October 31: John Keats

John Keats (1795) It was on this date, October 31, 1795, that British poet John Keats was born in London. His family was close, and when his father died in an 1804 riding accident, and his mother died of tuberculosis six years later, the 15-year-old Keats, two brothers and a sister, turned to each other. […]

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2011-10-19
October 19: Leigh Hunt

Leigh Hunt (1784) It was on this date, October 19, 1784, that English writer James Leigh Hunt was born in Southgate, Middlesex. His father was a clergyman, but got into financial difficulties and ended up in a debtor's prison, leaving Leigh Hunt in the care of his mother. Early on, Hunt developed a twin passion […]

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2011-03-25
March 25: Shelley Expelled for Atheism

If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature is made for their destruction. … Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity.

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2011-02-10
February 10: Charles Lamb

Lamb was a complete agnostic from 1801, and from 1829 he was no longer even a Unitarian.

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2010-11-23
November 23: Blaise Pascal's Conversion

The evening of his "definite conversion" (November 23)... was the occasion of what Pascal remembered as a two-hour mystical vision, but what might just have been a misinterpretation of the aura and shimmering lights that occasionally precede a migraine headache. Some of the common triggers for migraines are being tired, stressed or depressed and the let-down after a stressful event — like nearly falling off a bridge.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


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November 21: Voltaire

"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world," he wrote in a letter to Frederick the Great of Prussia.



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