July 15, 1904 – Russian physician and playwright Anton Chekhov dies of tuberculosis in Badenweiler, Germany, aged 44. He is largely attributed with originating theÂ concept of “Chekhov’s Gun”; i.e. that every element inÂ a dramatic workÂ should be essential to the story. (“If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”) An atheist from an early age, he said that when he and his brothers sang in church as children, they “felt like little convicts.”
July 15, 2014 – Dan Courtney delivers the first atheist invocation before a meeting of the Greece (NY) Town Board. His appearance was made possible as a result of the Supreme Court ruling (earlier that year) in Greece v. Galloway, upholding the Constitutionality of sectarian prayers before local government meetings, as long as they are respectful, non-proselytizing, and not restricted to certain denominations.
Got info?Â Suggest a dateÂ in freethought history!