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: Titus Voelkel

Titus Voelkel

On this date in 1849, freethinker Titus Voelkel was born in Germany. He studied theology, as well as science and mathematics, lived in Paris, then returned to Germany to teach at the secondary school level for a decade. In the 1880s, Voelkel became notorious as a rationalist lecturer. In 1885, he became editor of the Neues Freireligioses Sonntags-blatt. He was prosecuted and acquitted for blasphemy five times between 1887-1888. Finally, in 1891, he was found guilty and spent two years in prison. Voelkel was later a deputy to the International Freethought Congress.

After emigrating to the U.S., he taught at City College of New York. A college publication from 1903 noted he would be receiving a $100 annual raise as a tutor in the Department of German Language and Literature. A college notice in 1913 announced he had resigned the presidency of the language association Deutscher Sprachverein and would serve as honorary president. He died in 1916.

"Dr. Titus Voelkel, the well-known free-thought agitator of North America, will soon arrive in Buffalo and will present two or three of his lectures. His subjects will be: 'The Blessings of Infidelity,' 'Christianity and Socialism,' and 'Immortality.' "

—March 1901 ad in a newspaper in Buffalo, N.Y. "Socialism: Its Theoretical Basis and Practical Application" (1904)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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