October 26 in freethought history…

October 26, 1880 – The town of Liberal, Missouri was founded as an atheist utopia by freethinker George Walser. Walser’s intention was to provide a religion-free zone. He hoped to attract nonbelievers from far and wide–and he did attract a few. But he also attracted even more Christians who, although discouraged from coming, moved to Liberal in the hopes of converting the populace. The Liberal experiment was short-lived: within 20 years of so the faithful outnumbered the infidels, and in later life Walser himself became a Christian, even writing a book titled Life and Teachings of Jesus.

October 26, 1902 – Suffragist, feminist, abolitionist and social reformer Elizabeth Cady Stanton dies in New York City, aged 86. Among her many works was The Woman’s Bible, a feminist commentary on scripture, written in collaboration with several other feminist activists.

October 26, 1973 – Writer, producer, director and actor Seth MacFarlane is born in Kent, Connecticut. He has created or contributed to a number of successful TV shows, most notably as creator of the longrunning Family Guy. MacFarlane has been outspoken in support of secular causes and gay rights, and co-produced the science documentary miniseries Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

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