Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

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There are 3 entries for this date: Brad Pitt , Pedro Pablo Abarca Aranda and Susan Sackett
Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

On this date in 1963, Brad Pitt was born in Shawnee, Okla. Two credits shy of a college degree from the University of Missouri, Pitt dropped out and headed to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Working as a limousine driver for several months, Pitt enrolled in an acting class and then accompanied a classmate to an audition as her scene partner. The agent signed Pitt instead and he began work in television, including appearing on episodes of "Dallas," "Another World" and "Growing Pains." In spite of appearing only a few minutes on screen, Pitt's big break came from his role as a hitchhiker in the classic female buddy story, "Thelma and Louise" (1991). With some failed films over the next few years, Pitt established himself as more than a sex symbol, showing off his acting prowess in "A River Runs Through It" (1992), "Kalifornia" (1993), "Interview with the Vampire" (1994), "Legends of the Fall" (1994) and "Seven" (1997). He received critical acclaim and some award nominations and wins for his work in "Twelve Monkeys" (1995), "Babel" (2006) and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008). Year after year, Brad Pitt's celebrity continues to rise, due to his high-profile public romances (including to partner Angelina Jolie), sex symbol status and award-winning acting abilities. "When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me. It was a discovery of self. I had thought that I'm capable enough to handle any situation. There's peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I'm responsible," he said to Parade Magazine in 2007. Pitt told BILD.com: "I'm probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent agnostic" (July 23, 2009).

“I don't have a chance [on being elected Mayor of New Orleans]. I'm running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalization and taxation of marijuana platform.”

—-Brad Pitt, in an interview with Ann Curry on "The Today Show," Aug. 13, 2009

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Pedro Pablo Abarca Aranda

Pedro Pablo Abarca Aranda

On this date in 1718, Spanish statesman Pedro Pablo Abarca Aranda was born. After military service and an ambassadorship to Poland, Count d'Aranda became Governor of Valencia in 1764, president of the Council of Castile and then First Minister of Spain in 1765. A correspondent of Voltaire and other French figures of the Enlightenment, he worked to weaken the Inquisition, and inaugurate noble reforms. He even expelled the Jesuits in 1767. The clerics responded by having him removed from office. D'Aranda was well-known to the American revolutionaries as a supporter. At one time the Spanish ambassador to the French Court, he met Benjamin Franklin. D'Aranda briefly regained power in 1792, but the church drove him out again, and undid his many reforms. D'Aranda was imprisoned at Granada and narrowly missed being put on trial by the Inquisition. He lived the last years of his life out of harm's way. D. 1798.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Susan Sackett

Susan Sackett

On this date in 1943, Susan Sackett was born in New York City. Growing up in both Connecticut and Florida, Sackett dreamed of working in Hollywood. After receiving a Bachelor's (1964) and Master's of Education (1965) from the University of Florida in Gainesville, she taught at an elementary school in Miami for two years. Deciding to pursue her dream, Sackett quit her teaching job, moved to Los Angeles, and spent the next four years working as a publicity assistant and commercial coordinator for NBC. In August 1974, Sackett met and became the personal executive assistant of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the legendary television series "Star Trek."  Sackett served as a production assistant for the first "Star Trek" film (1979) and worked closely with Roddenberry on the next five "Star Trek" movies. Working as a production associate during the first five seasons of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," (1987-1994), Sackett and writing partner Fred Bronson sold several stories and teleplays to the series, including the popular episodes "Menage a Troi" and "The Game." She worked for Roddenberry for 17 years, until his death in October 1991. Sackett has written many books throughout her career including three books about "Star Trek": Letters to Star Trek (1977), Star Trek Speaks! (1979—with co-authors Fred and Stan Goldstein), The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1980—with co-author Gene Roddenberry), and a "Star Trek" memoir, Inside Trek (2002). She also wrote, You Can Be a Game Show Contestant and Win! (1982—with co-author Cheryl Blythe), Primetime Hits (1993), and Hollywood Sings! (1995).

Sackett is a member of MENSA, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and Writer's Guild of America, West. Sackett said that Roddenberry first introduced her to humanism. She relocated to Arizona, became active in her local AHA chapter in 1994, and acted as president of the local group from 2000 to 2010. Her chapter received the "Chapter of the Year" award from the American Humanist Association for 2001. Sackett has been on the AHA Board of Directors since 2005 and has served as Secretary on the Executive Committee since 2009. She serves as a vice president on the board of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and has been a Certified Humanist Celebrant since 2001. Susan resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., and says she is "owned" by her two dogs, Kali and Summer. She has been a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation since 1995, and became a Lifetime Member in 2007.

"I am a Humanist and a freethinker because, as Mr. Spock would say, it is only logical."

—Susan Sackett, Jan. 5, 2010, (quotation original to Freethought of the Day)

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

If you would like to be placed on the "Daily Freethought" e-mail list to automatically receive the calendar notice, log in and edit your email settings (My Membership). Or, email  and include your first and last name with your request for verification purposes. This email service is limited to members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation or subscribers to Freethought Today. To become an FFRF member, click here.


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