Category Archives: biography

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 14 in freethought history…

May 14, 1940 – Anarchist and atheist activist Emma Goldman dies in Toronto, Canada, aged 70. Born in Russia in 1869, she emigrated to American in 1885. She wrote, “The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any … Continue reading

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May 13 in freethought history…

May 13, 1951 – Dutch philosopher Herman Philipse is born in The Hague, The Netherlands. He is best known for his Atheist Manifesto, a collection of essays, which stirred some controversy in his country, and deeply influenced a Somali immigrant … 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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May 11 in freethought history…

May 11, 1918 - Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman is born in New York City. He shared a Nobel Prize in 1966 for his work in the development of quantum electrodynamics. Although raised Jewish, he resisted such ethnic identifications, believing that it … 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 9 in freethought history…

May 9, 1960 – The US Food and Drug Administration approves the first commercial birth control pill. “The Pill,” as it was called, offered an unprecedented level of reproductive freedom to women. It was, predictably, praised by some as a … Continue reading

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May 8 in freethought history…

May 8, 1988 – Robert A. Heinlein dies in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, aged 80. One of the most influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, his books explored philosophy, religion, sexuality and taboos. He is best known for his novels … Continue reading

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May 7 in freethought history…

May 7, 1794 - French revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre declares the Cult of the Supreme Being, the short-lived Deistic state religion created to replace the revolutionary Cult of Reason, which was itself intended to replace the official Roman Catholicism of the Ancien Regime. The Cult … 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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