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: Anniversary of Seneca Falls Convention and Fred Edwords

Anniversary of Seneca Falls Convention

On this and the following date in 1848, the very first woman's rights convention in the world met in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Feminist and freethinker Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with four friends, instigated and convened the the Seneca Falls Convention on July 19-20, 1848. Stanton was the first woman to call for "woman suffrage," as part of the "Declaration of Rights and Sentiments" adopted at the convention. Stanton, initially warned that the suffrage plank was almost too shocking to utter and would alienate supporters, prevailed. The suffrage plank won endorsement and galvanized U.S. women for the next 72 years. The 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women's right to vote, was finally passed in 1920, after nearly a century of struggle to overcome religion-rooted objections toward women's civil equality.

“In the early days of woman-suffrage agitation, I saw that the greatest obstacle we had to overcome was the bible. It was hurled at us on every side.”

—-Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an Interview with the Chicago Record, June 29, 1897. For more on Stanton, read Women Without Superstition.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Fred Edwords

Fred Edwords

On this date in 1948, humanist leader Fred Edwords was born in San Diego. Edwords has dedicated his life to advocating for the atheist, agnostic, secular, humanist, and freethinking communities. In the late 1960s he attended San Diego City College and the Bill Wade School of Radio and Television, going on to work as a radio newscaster and then as an underground filmmaker. Edwords is currently the director of the United Coalition of Reason, which was founded in 2009 and works to promote the community of reason and the separation of church and state. Edwords worked for the American Humanist Association for over 20 years, serving as executive director and then as editor of the Humanist, the organization’s national magazine. Edwords has also served as a leader of many other humanist organizations, since he became active in the movement in 1977. He was the president of Camp Quest, a children’s summer camp that promotes reason, critical thinking, and other ideas embraced by the humanist and secular movements. The camp’s motto is, “Camp Quest. It’s beyond belief!” Fred Edwords and Mary Caroll Murchison-Edwords married in 1980 and have two daughters.

Photo by the American Humanist Association and OTRS in the permission archive under CC 3.0

"Much of human progress has been in defiance of religion or of the apparent natural order. The defiance of religious and secular authority has led to democracy, human rights, and the protection of the environment. Humanists make no apologies for this. Humanists twist no biblical doctrine to justify such actions."

——Fred Edwords, “What is Humanism?” (1989, retrieved from the American Humanist Association website).

Compiled by Sarah Eucalano

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