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 1 entries for this date: John Ballance
John Ballance

John Ballance

On this date in 1839, John Ballance was born in Ireland, the first of 11 children. The ironmonger's apprentice emigrated first to Birmingham, then, with his new wife, to New Zealand. Ballance began publishing The Wanganui Herald. First elected to the House of Representatives in 1875 on a ticket calling for free education, Ballance later became Minister of Education, and Minister of Finance. He was then appointed Native Minister, and Minister for Defence and Lands. Ballance founded his country's Liberal Party. In 1891, Ballance was elected the 14th Prime Minister of New Zealand as a Liberal. He is credited with many progressive reforms, improving government relations with Maoris, and calling for the "absolute equality of the sexes." As premier, Ballance secured the right to vote for his countrywomen, making New Zealand the first country to do so. His religious affiliation is listed as "freethinker." Joseph McCabe, in A Biographical Dictionary of Rationalists, termed Ballance "an outspoken Rationalist and a high-minded Humanitarian." D. 1893.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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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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