August 5 in freethought history…

August 5, 1940 – Ellory Schempp is born in Philadelphia. In 1956, 16-year-old Schempp (raised by a Unitarian Universalist family) protested his public school’s requirement that students read Bible verses and the Lord’s Prayer each day. He would become the eponymous plaintiff in Schempp vs. Abington, in which the Supreme Court ruled that such compulsory Bible readings  are unconstitutional. Schempp kept a low profile in the aftermath of the case, changed the spelling of his first name to Ellery, had a successful career as a physicist and is now retired. He is currently on the advisory boards of the Secular Coalition for America and the Secular Student Alliance, and is a member of the American Humanist Association, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

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