March 4 in freethought history…

beatlesMarch 4, 1966 – In an interview published in the London Evening Standard, John Lennon remarked that, at the time, the Beatles were more popular than Jesus in the United Kingdom. His comment went relatively unremarked in Britain, but months later, when the interview was republished in the United States, it ignited a firestorm among American Christians. The Beatles received threats; their music was boycotted, their concerts picketed, and some venues considered cancelling scheduled concerts. The controversy eventually died down, but Lennon was asked about it as late as 1969 by a Canadian reporter. Lennon’s full comment, which addressed the rapidly secularizing UK moreso than the Beatle’s popularity, was, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

March 4, 1982 - Neuroendocrinologist Dr. Hudson Hoagland in Southboro, Massachusetts, aged 82. In 1944, he and Gregory Pincus founded the Worchester Foundation for Experimental Biology, which developed the birth control pill in the 1950s. He was President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Hoagland was a signatoree to Humanist Manifesto II, and was named Humanist of the Year in 1965 by the American Humanist Society.


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