April 21 in freethought history…

marktwainApril 21, 1910 - American writer, lecturer and raconteur Samuel Clemens (a.k.a Mark Twain) dies in Redding, Connecticut, aged 74. Widely considered one of the greatest American novelists, his works include Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Twain was outspoken on a number of social issues, including imperialism, racism and animal rights. Twain also wrote about religion: much of his output in this regard was published anonymously or posthumously. His religious satire included “Letters from the Earth,” “Extracts from Adam’s Diary,” “Eve’s Diary,” “The War Prayer” and “Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven.” He wrote a non-fiction book criticizing Mary Baker Eddy (founder of Christian Science), and landed in hot water when he made extemporaneous remarks in opposition to placing “In God We Trust” on US coinage.

April 21, 1955 – The play Inherit the Wind, inspired by the Scopes Monkey Trial, makes its Broadway debut. Written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, the play has enjoyed numerous revivals and has been adapted several times for film and television.

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