November 6 in freethought history…

November 6, 1836 - American theologian and philosopher Francis Ellingwood Abbot is born in Boston, Massachussets. He served for a time as a Unitarian minister, but was ultimately dismissed for being insufficiently Christian. He pioneered “scientific theism,” which sought to reconstruct religion using the scientific method. His books include Scientific Theism and The Way Out of Agnosticism. He died in 1903, aged 66.

November 6, 1841The Oracle of Reason, the first atheist periodical published in the United Kingdom, is established by Charles Southwell, William Chilton and John Field. The Oracle was shortlived, ending in 1843.

November 6, 1912 – Humanist activist Vashti McCollum is born Vashti Cromwell in Lyons, New York. She was the plaintiff (on behalf of her son) in McCollum v Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down religious education in public schools. She went on to serve as president of the American Humanist Association and was a signatory of Humanist Manifesto II and Humanist Manifesto III. She died in 2006, aged 93.

November 6, 1964 - Greg Gaffin, lead singer of the punk rock band Bad Religion, is born in Racine Wisconsin. He is also a successful academic, earning a master’s degree in geology and a PhD in zoology, and teaches evolution at the college level. While Gaffin doesn’t believe in God, he prefers to describe himself as a “naturalist.”

November 6, 1967The Phil Donahue Show debuts in Dayton Ohio. Donahue’s first guest was atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

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