December 14 in freethought history…

hectorhawtonDecember 14, 1975 – British rationalist Hector Hawton dies, aged 74. He was editor of The Humanist for the Rationalist Press Association for many years, and wrote several nonfiction books, including Men without Gods, Philosophy for Pleasure, The Thinker’s Handbook and The Feast of Unreason.

December 14, 1989 – Nuclear scientist, Soviet dissident and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov dies in Moscow, aged 68. He turned from designing nuclear weapons for the USSR to opposing their proliferation. He also advocated for human rights, including freedom of speech, for which he was persecuted. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975 and was named Humanist of the Year in 1980 by the American Humanist Association.

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