Monthly Archives: January 2016

January 31 in freethought history…

January 31, 1934 – Helen Kagin is born Helen McGregor Smith in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. A career anesthesiologist, she co-founded Camp Quest (a summer camp for children of nonreligious and freethinking families) in 1996 with husband and fellow atheist activist … Continue reading

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January 30 in freethought history…

January 30, 1861 – Swedish freethought activist Viktor Lennstrand is born in Gävle, Sweden. He was outspoken against both Christianity and state-sponsored religion, and was imprisoned several times. He died in 1895, aged 34. January 30, 1891 – Charles Bradlaugh (English … Continue reading

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January 29 in freethought history…

January 29, 1860 - Russian physician and playwright Anton Chekhov is born in Taganrog, Russian Empire. He is largely attributed with originating the concept of “Chekhov’s Gun”; i.e. that every element in a dramatic work should be essential to the story. (“If … Continue reading

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January 28 in freethought history…

January 28, 1573 – Noblemen of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth sign the Warsaw Confederation, formalizing a longstanding tradition of religious tolerance for nobility and free persons. It was the first European document to codify religious toleration. The Commonwealth, which existed for … Continue reading

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January 27 in freethought history…

January 27, 1905 – Illustrator Watson Heston, whose satirical religious cartoons appeared in several freethough publications, dies aged 58. He also wrote the now highly-collectible books The Old Testament Comically Illustrated and The New Testament Comically Illustrated.   Got info? Suggest a … Continue reading

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January 26 in freethought history…

January 26, 2004 – The new Constitution of Afghanistan is signed by President Hamid Karzai. It declares the country an Islamic Republic, with Islam as the official state religion. Although the free exercise of other religions is ostensibly guaranteed, the … Continue reading

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January 25 in freethought history…

January 25, 1928 – Rabbi Sherwin Wine is born in Detroit, Michigan. In 1969, he founded the Society for Humanistic Judaism, an organization that emphasizes Jewish culture and history rather than religious identity. He was one of the signers of … Continue reading

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January 24 in freethought history…

January 24, 2003 – The documentary program Penn & Teller: Bullshit! begins its run on cable TV channel Showtime. Over eight years and 89 episodes, professional magicians and skeptics Penn Jillette and his ever-mute partner Teller debunked (using lots of profanity) a … Continue reading

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January 23 in freethought history…

January 23, 1891 – John Ballance, Premier of New Zealand, dies in office of complications from abdominal surgery. Having witnessed sectarian riots in his native Ireland, Ballance was a confirmed secularist and co-founder of the Wanganui Freethought Association. January 23, 2003 … Continue reading

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January 22 in freethought history…

January 22, 1906 – British secularist and publisher George Jacob Holyoake dies in Brighton, England, aged 88. Holyoake was a prolific writer and lecturer, and a leader in England’s nascent freethought movement. He was the last person convicted of blasphemy in the United … Continue reading

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