January 10 in freethought history…

inheritthewindJanuary 10, 1955 – The play Inherit the Wind, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, and inspired by the Scopes Monkey Trial, opens at Broadway’s National Theatre. It has been adapted for film numerous times, and continues to be performed by local theatre groups, due to the continued creationism controversy in America.

January 10, 1955 – British freethinker Joseph McCabe dies, aged 87. Raised by a Roman Catholic family, he spent several years as an ordained priest before eventually drifting into freethought. He was a founding member of the Rationalist Press Association and a prolific lecturer and writer. A great many of his writings were printed in America as Little Blue Books by Haldeman-Julius Publications.

January 10, 1981 – Historian Fawn Brodie dies, aged 65. She is best known for a biography of Thomas Jefferson and for No Man Knows My History, the first critical biography of Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism. She fell away from her LDS upbringing while attending the Univesity of Chicago, saying, “It was like taking a hot coat off in the summertime. The sense of liberation I had…was exhilarating. I felt very quickly that I could not go back to the old life, and I never did.”

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