Category Archives: astronomy & space

January 4 in freethought history…

January 4, 1643 (December 25, 1642, per the antiquated Julian calendar) – Physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton is born in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England. Widely considered one of the (if not the) greatest scientists of all time, Newton is celebrated both for … Continue reading

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December 24 in freethought history…

December 24, 1968 – The Apollo 8 astronauts broadcast live, reading the Creation story from the book of Genesis while orbiting the Moon on Christmas Eve, leading to a lawsuit by atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. The case was later dismissed by … Continue reading

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December 16 in freethought history…

December 16, 1917 – Futurist and science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke is born in Minehead, Somerset, England. His novels include such classics as Childhood’s End, Rendezvous with Rama, The Fountains of Paradise and 2001: A Space Odyssey (for … Continue reading

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November 9 in freethought history…

November 9, 1934 – Astrophysicist and science popularizer Carl Sagan is born in New York City. Aside from his peer-reviewed accomplishments as a scientist, he was a prominent speculator about the possibility of extraterrestrial life (he organized the creation of … Continue reading

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November 7 in freethought history…

November 7, 1876 – Culbert Olson (who, as 29th governor of California, battled entanglement of the Roman Catholic Church in the state’s school system) is born in Fillmore, Utah. Raised by a Mormon family, he nonetheless decided he was an atheist … Continue reading

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October 31 in freethought history…

October 31, 1517 – According to tradition, German friar Martin Luther posted his Ninety Five Theses on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, questioning various clerical abuses within the Catholic Church, including nepotism and the sale of indulgences. … Continue reading

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October 5 in freethought history…

October 5, 1958 – Astrophysicist and science popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson is born in New York City. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, and was at the forefront of the movement … Continue reading

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September 28 in freethought history…

September 28, 1949 – Albert Einstein writes to a man named Guy H. Raner, Jr. (with whom he briefly corresponded), “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal god is a childlike one. You may call … Continue reading

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September 20 in freethought history…

September 20, 1851 – English animal rights activist Henry Stephens Salt is born in Nynee Tal, India. Raised and educated in England, Salt was a pioneering advocate for vegetarianism and animal rights based on a rational understanding of humanity’s common … Continue reading

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September 11 in freethought history…

September 11, 1935 – Cosmonaut Gherman Titov is born in Russia. On August 6, 1961, he was the second man (after Yuri Gagarin) to orbit the Earth and the fourth man to travel to space. During a 1962 visit to … Continue reading

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