Category Archives: rationalism

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 12 in freethought history…

May 12, 1937 – Comedian George Carlin is born in New York City. He was well-known for his frank and transgressive stand-up comedy that touched in nearly every subject, including politics and religion. In a classic rant on religion, Carlin said,”When … Continue reading

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April 1 in freethought history…

April 1, 1908 – American psychologist Abraham Maslow is born in the Bronx, New York. Much of his work focused on positive psychology, and he is the source of the now popular saying, “If all you have is a hammer, … Continue reading

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March 31 in freethought history…

March 31, 1858 – Freethinker and peace activist Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner is born in London, England. She wrote an extensive biography of her father, Charles Bradlaugh, the United Kingdom’s first openly atheistic Member of Parliament and founder of the National … Continue reading

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March 30 in freethought history…

March 30, 1940 – The Supreme Court of New York rules against Bertrand Russell regarding his dismissal as Professor of Philosophy from College of the City of New York. The Court ruled on three grounds: that Russell was not a … Continue reading

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March 24 in freethought history…

March 24, 1846 - Abolitionist, suffragist, social activist and freethinker Matilda Joslyn Gage is born in Cicero, New York. As a young woman, she participated in the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape to freedom. She was a leader in the women’s … Continue reading

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March 16 in freethought history…

March 16, 1930 - English agnostic and skeptic Edward Clodd dies, aged 89. Though he earned a living as a banker, Clodd was an anthropologist and early proponent of Darwin’s theory of evolution. He was chairman of the Rationalist Press Association … Continue reading

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March 7 in freethought history…

March 7, 1844 - Anti-obscenity crusader Anthony Comstock is born in New Haven, Connecticut. His lifelong obsession with the morality of others first evidenced in his complaints while serving in the Civil War against fellow soldiers who swore. Comstock founded the … Continue reading

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February 16 in freethought history…

February 16, 1906 – British secularist writer, publisher and lecturer Charles Watts dies in England, aged 70. He co-founded the National Secular Society and (later, after a split with the NSS) the British Secular Union. His wife (born Eunice Kate … Continue reading

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February 12 in freethought history…

February 12, 1789 – American patriot Ethan Allen dies in Burlington, Vermont, aged 51. Best known for his daring exploits during the Revolutionary War, Allen was also a politician, frontier philosopher and early advocate for smallpox inoculation. In later life … Continue reading

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