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 2 entries for this date: Kevin Kline and Lakshmi Sahgal
Kevin Kline

Kevin Kline

On this date in 1947, actor Kevin Delaney Kline was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Though his father was Jewish and reportedly agnostic, Kline was raised in Catholicism, his mother’s religion, and attended Catholic school ("Robert J. Kline, 87; Was Opera Buff, Owner of Record Stores," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 7, 1996). Kline graduated from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1970 with a degree in acting. He then attended the Julliard School for Drama in New York City, and toured the United States with the prominent City Center Acting Company. Kline won a Tony Award in 1978 for his performance in the musical, "On the Twentieth Century," and one in 1981 for Best Actor in a Musical for "The Pirates of Penzance."  Kline’s first film, "Sophie’s Choice" (1982) starring Meryl Streep, earned him nominations for a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award. In addition to "Sophie’s Choice," Kline was nominated for Golden Globes for his acting in "Soap Dish" (1991), "Dave" (1993), "In and Out" (1997) and "De-Lovely" (2004). Some of his other films include "The Big Chill" (1983), "Silverado" (1985), "I Love You to Death"  (1990), "Grand Canyon" (1991), "French Kiss" (1995), "The Ice Storm" (1997), "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" (1999), "Life as a House" (2001), "The Emperor’s Club" (2002), "A Prairie Home Companion" (2006), "Definitely, Maybe" (2008) and "No Strings Attached" (2011), which starred Natalie Portman. Kline won the 1989 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in "A Fish Called Wanda" (1988). Having starred in numerous Shakespeare plays throughout his career, Kline won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in the film version of "As You Like It" in 2008. Kline is an activist for juvenile diabetes research, a condition that afflicts his son. In 2004, Meryl Streep presented Kline with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. Kline is married to actress Phoebe Cates and the couple have two children together.

"You see, I do exist."

—Kevin Kline answering the question, “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates?” posed by James Lipton on “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” Oct. 21, 2001

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Lakshmi Sahgal

Lakshmi Sahgal

On this date in 1914, revolutionary Lakshmi Sahgal, nee Lakshmi Swaminathan, was born in Madras, India. She studied medicine at Madras Medical College, and graduated in 1938. In 1940, she opened a medical clinic for poor Indian migrant laborer in Singapore. When Japan began occupying Singapore in 1942, Sahgal used her medical skills to helped wounded Indian prisoners of war. When the Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose arrived in Singapore to form the Indian National Army there to fight for Indian independence from the British, Sahgal met with him to see how women could be included in the movement. Sahgal created and trained the only all-female military unit in Singapore, called the Rani of Jhansi regiment. The Rani of Jhansi regiment was never used in combat and the women in the unit mainly worked as nurses. The British military later arrested Sahgal, who was a captain in the Indian National Army. She was in prison for under a year and the British chose to release her because of the anti-British sentiment in India.

Sahgal continued to practice as a doctor throughout her life, undercharging her mostly poor patients. In 1971, she joined the Marxist branch of India's communist party, and became an active voice in Indian politics. She was elected to India's upper house of parliament in 1971 and unsuccessfully ran for president on a platform of equality in 2002. Sahgal was a supporter of women's rights and education, and advocated for ending the practice of dowries, child marriages, and allowing widows to remarry. Sahgal married a fellow officer in the Indian National Army, Prem Kumar Sahgal, in 1947. The couple was married until his death in 1992 and had two children together. D. 2012.

 

“I have always been an atheist. My parents were atheists. It doesn't bother me if somebody is religious. My problem is when religion is used to institutionalize other things.”

Compiled by Sarah Eucalano

© 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  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  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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