November 11 in freethought history…

kurtvonnegutNovember 11, 1922 – Kurt Vonnegut, one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, is born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1922. A lifelong atheist and humanist from a family of freethinkers, Vonnegut was an honorary president of the American Humanist Association. His writing was often satirical or science fictional (or both) and included explorations of philosophy and religion. His books include Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, Galapagos and God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian. He died in 2007, aged 84.

November 11, 1931 – Pete Stark (US Representative from California, 1973-2013) is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was one of the longest serving members of the US House of Representatives. On March 21, 2007, the Secular Coalition of America announced that Stark was the only congressman who would publicly admit he was an atheist (something he confirmed himself on September 20, 2007). In 2012 (in the aftermath of a 2010 redistricting) Stark lost to fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell.

November 11, 1950 – Harry Hay and a small group of friends and associates hold the first meeting of what would become the Mattachine Society, one of the first gay rights organizations, in Los Angeles, California.

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