September 26 in freethought history…

bradlaugharrestedSeptember 26, 1833 – English atheist and activist Charles Bradlaugh is born in London. He founded the National Secular Society and became one of the first open atheists (if not the first open atheist) elected to the British Parliament. He insisted on making an affirmation to assume his seat, instead of taking a religious oath, but was denied by Parliamentary committees. He refused to cooperate with their ruling, and was eventually arrested and forced to forfeit his seat. His constituents re-elected him in repeated special elections intended to replace him. Bradlaugh died in 1891, aged 57.

September 26, 1905 – Albert Einstein’s paper on Special Relativity is published in the German scientific journal Annalen der Physik. This was the third of four landmark papers (which included works on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion and mass-energy equivalence) published during his “Annus Mirabilis.” Einstein died in 1955, aged 76.

September 26, 2005Kitzmiller v Dover (challenging the teaching of intelligent design in public schools) begins six weeks of argument before US Disctrict Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The courtroom drama would see luminaries from both sides appear on the stand, and would end in a crushing defeat for the Creationist movement.

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