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Lighting a candle in toxic air.
November 8, 2011
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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August 10, 2011
August 10: Churches v. Astronomy

Royal Observatory Opens (1675): Churches v. Astronomy It was on this date, August 10, 1675, that, by order of King Charles II, the foundation stone of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, south London, was laid. The rationale was chiefly commercial: to improve knowledge of the positions of stars in order to aid navigation. The first […]

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November 8, 2010
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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September 20: Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair (1878) It was on this date, September 20, 1878, that American writer Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland. In a 67-year career, Sinclair published over 90 books, mostly novels with a social reform theme. But he began life as a religious boy – it is said his two great heroes were Jesus […]



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