March 22 in freethought history…

annehutchinsonMarch 22, 1638 – The Massachussetts Bay Colony expells Anne Hutchinson for religious dissent. She moved with her family and a number of like-minded settlers to what is now Portsmouth, Rhode Island; soon thereafter, when it looked like Massachussetts might absorb Portsmouth, she and her family moved outside English jurisdiction into Dutch-controlled New Netherland. Hutchinson and several family members were massacred by Native Americans in 1643 near Split Rock, in what is now Pelham Bay Park, The Bronx.

March 22, 1984 – Manhattan Beach, California preschool owner Virginia McMartin, her daughter, two of her grandchildren and three teachers are charged with dozens of counts of child abuse, some relating to alleged Satanic ritual abuse. Seven years and $15 million later, the trial ended with no convictions. The McMartin preschool trial has become a textbook case of 1980s “Satanic panic,” a poorly conducted investigation and trial that relied on false memories, media sensationalism, perjury and claims of flying witches and orgies.

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