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: Ira Cardiff and Summer Solstice
Ira Cardiff

Ira Cardiff

On this date in 1873, botanist and humanist author Ira Detrich Cardiff was born. He directed the agriculture experimental station from 1914-17 at Washington State University, where he also headed the botany and plant physiology department. He later founded the Washington Dehydrated Foods Company in Yakima. In addition to academic publications, Cardiff wrote freethought articles, pamphlets and books, including The Deification of Lincoln (1943), What Great Men Think of Religion (1945), which focused on skeptics, and, as editor, The Wisdom of George SantayanaD. 1964.

“What would Christ do about syphilis? Well, what should he do? Christ, being possessed of miraculous powers, why does he not obliterate syphilis from the face of the earth? Does Spirochaeta pallida, the organism causing syphilis, perform any useful function in the economy of nature? If not, why not obliterate it? Who is better equipped to do this than Jesus Christ?”

—Cardiff, "If Christ Came to New York," (undated pamphlet published in The Truth Seeker, c. 1930s)

Compiled by Eleanor Wroblewski

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere)! Depending on the shift of the calendar, the solstice occurs between June 20-22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between Dec. 20-23 in the Southern Hemisphere. June 22 and Dec. 23 solstices are rare. The last June 22 solstice was in 1975 and there won't be another until 2203.

"Stonehenge, like many other stone circles and standing stones throughout Europe, is aligned to catch the first rays of the summer sun. These moments are part of a universal acknowledgement of the sun as a source of life, fertility, and good fortune. We may know a great deal more today about the physical nature of our native star, but our ancestors knew full well, as do we, that without its light and warmth, there would be no life."

—John Matthews, "The Summer Solstice: Celebrating the Journey of the Sun from May Day to Harvest" (2002)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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