Category Archives: humanism

May 21 in freethought history…

May 21, 1921 – Nuclear scientist, Soviet dissident and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov is born in Moscow. He turned from designing nuclear weapons for the USSR to opposing their proliferation. He also advocated for human rights, including freedom of speech, for … Continue reading

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May 18 in freethought history…

May 18, 1872 - Philosopher and activist Bertrand Russell is born in Trellech, Wales. Aside from his career contributions to philosophy, mathematics, linguistics and computer science, he was a lifelong critic of war and an advocate for progressive social causes. He … Continue reading

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May 17 in freethought history…

May 17, 1963 – The British Humanist Association is founded. It was formed from the Union of Ethical Societies, which was itself founded in 1896.

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May 16 in freethought history…

May 16, 1979 - African-American civil rights activist Asa Philip Randolph dies in New York City, aged 90. Randolph was a key figure in the fight to end discrimination in the defense industry and the US military, and he was head … Continue reading

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May 15 in freethought history…

May 15, 1876 – Felix Adler delivers a “Founding Address” at the first gathering of what would become the New York Society for Ethical Culture. He concluded his speech by saying, “The time calls for action. Up, then, and let us … Continue reading

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May 10 in freethought history…

May 10, 1872 - Victoria Woodhull, advocate for “free love” and women’s rights, becomes the first female candidate (representing the Equal Rights Party) for President of the United States. Sorry, Hillary. May 10, 1967 – Author and documentarian Jon Ronson is … Continue reading

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May 6 in freethought history…

May 6, 1862 - Philosopher and social reformer Henry David Thoreau dies in Concord, Massachusetts, aged 44. He is best known for his memoir Walden; or, Life in the Woods (a call for simplicity, thoughful living, and closeness to nature) and his … Continue reading

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May 4 in freethought history…

May 4, 1825 - English biologist Thomas Huxley is born in Ealing, United Kingdom. Huxley’s work in comparative anatomy led to his conclusion (widely accepted by scientists today) that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Huxley was an energetic advocate for colleague Charles … Continue reading

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May 3 in freethought history…

May 3, 1880 – English atheist Charles Bradlaugh, recently elected as a Member of Parliament, requests to be allowed to affirm his oath, rather than take the religious Oath of Allegiance. A political scandal unfolded over the next six years, which … Continue reading

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May 1 in freethought history…

May 1, 1899 - Philosopher and physiologist Ludwig Büchner dies in Darmstadt, Germany, aged 75. He was a foremost German proponent of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories, and published a number of scientific books in which he vehemently advocated an extreme materialist view (which … Continue reading

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