June 4, 1945 – Author and journalist Susan Jacoby is born. Her books include Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, The Age of American Unreason, and The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought.
June 4, 1985 – The US Supreme Court rules, in Wallace v. Jaffree, that public schools may not open the day with a moment of silence for “meditation or silent prayer.” The Court ruled that “The record here not only establishes that [the law’s]Â purpose was to endorse religion, it also reveals that the enactment of the statute was not motivated by any clearly secular purpose.”
June 4, 2003 â€“ Husband-and-wife team Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell (both science educators) launch the website the-brights.net, which champions the use of the label “Brights” for those who hold a â€œnaturalistic worldview, free of supernatural or mystical elements.” Geisert coined the term (as a positive alternative to perceived “negative” self-identifications like godless, atheist, etc.) in response toÂ the 2002 Godless Americans March on Washington. While some have criticized â€œBrightâ€ as being demeaning (by implication) to the religious, the term has been embraced and championed by many freethought luminaries, including Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett.
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