September 1 in freethought history…

September 1, 1868 – English activist Chapman Cohen is born Leicester, England. Raised in a nonreligious Jewish family, Cohen became active in Britain’s National Secular Society, eventually serving as Vice President and later President.  He lectured widely, made frequent contribution to freethought periodicals, and published numerous pamphlets. Wrote Cohen: “Gods are fragile things, they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.” He died in 1954, aged 85.

September 1, 1967 – Tennessee repeals the Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in public schools and universities. The Butler Act was at the center of the infamous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, in which high school teacher John T. Scopes was convicted and fined $100.

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