April 28 in freethought history…

williamlewismooreApril 28, 1927 – Civil rights activist William Lewis Moore is born in Binghamton, New York. Moore was murdered in 1963 near Attalla, Alabama, while on a solo protest march, in which he intended to walk from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi, to deliver a letter to Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett. The letter said, in part, “the white man cannot be truly free himself until all men have their rights.” Although the gun’s ownership was traced, no charges were ever filed. Moore’s death inspired at least three protest songs. In 2008, on the 45th anniversary of Moore’s death, American Atheists President Ellen Johnson and atheist activist Ken Loukinen set out to complete Moore’s march. When they arrived at their destination some days later, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour declined to see them.

April 28, 1948 – English fantasy writer Terry Pratchett (author of the much-beloved Discworld novels) is born in Beaconsfield, England. Pratchett was an early adopter of computer technology and, in his later years, a staunch advocate of the right to die. Of Christianity, Pratchett (who had a humanist funeral service), said, ” I was inoculated against the Christian religion by reading the whole of the Old Testament in one go (apart from the begats). And I thought if this were true, we were in the hands of a maniac.” He died in 2015 after a prolonged battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s, aged 66.

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