It’s Ingersoll Day, celebrating “The Great Agnostic” (actually an atheist) born on this day in 1833.
By all accounts a fine man and an unparalleled speaker, the Christopher Hitchens of his time. Ingersoll was one of the most popular orators of his age, when oratory was public entertainment. He spoke on every subject, from Shakespeare to Reconstruction, but his most popular subjects were agnosticism and the sanctity and refuge of the family. He committed his speeches to memory although they were sometimes more than three hours long.
Many of Ingersoll’s speeches advocated freethought and humanism, and often ridiculed religious belief. For this the press often attacked him, but neither his opinions nor the negative press could stop his increasing popularity. During Ingersoll’s greatest fame, audiences would pay $1 or more to hear him speak, a considerable sum for that time.
Here’s a quotation on his belief of the harmony, or lack of, between religion and science which of course is still a contentious debate:
“There is no harmony between religion and science. When science was a child, religion sought to strangle it in the cradle. Now that science has attained its youth, and superstition is in its dotage, the trembling, palsied wreck says to the athlete: “Let us be friends.” It reminds me of the bargain the cock wished to make with the horse: “Let us agree not to step on each other’s feet.”
~ Robert G. Ingersoll, American Soldier, Lawyer, Orator and Politician
Gilbert Stuart, John Adams, American, 1755 – 1828, c. 1800/1815, oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. Robert Homans
Today in Founding Fathers History —> On this day in 1826 Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, dies the same day as John Adams, second president of the United States, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence.
Today’s American History Lesson:
** The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776. **
On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the following day 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. The delegates then spent the next two days debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by Thomas Jefferson. On July 4, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a result the date is celebrated as Independence Day. Nearly a month would go by, however, before the actual signing of the document took place. First, New York’s delegates didn’t officially give their support until July 9 because their home assembly hadn’t yet authorized them to vote in favor of independence. Next, it took two weeks for the Declaration to be “engrossed”—written on parchment in a clear hand. Most of the delegates signed on August 2, but several—Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton—signed on a later date. (Two others, John Dickinson and Robert R. Livingston, never signed at all.) The signed parchment copy now resides at the National Archives in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, alongside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
A lot happened today in Gay Rights:
~ 2003 —> The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional.
~ 2013 —> The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5–4, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
~ 2015 —> The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5–4, that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Stay tuned if any of these advancements in gay rights is overturned by the current makeup of the Supreme Court.
Compromise is vital and necessary to a functioning democracy:
“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
~ Barry Goldwater, 1964
#Compromise #Democracy #Politics #BarryGoldwater
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.
In its original form it read:
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
On this day June 22nd in 1942 the Pledge of Allegiance is formally adopted by US Congress.
Every American—should know that, although the Pledge was adopted in 1942, the words “under God” were added only in 1954 in a bill signed by President Eisenhower. The words were added after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic organization) and a Presbyterian minister to help distinguish the U.S. from our “atheistic” Cold War enemies.
#PledgeOfAllegiance #UnderGod #FrancisBellamy
Today in American Southern History –> On this day in 1964 Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
In 2005 Edgar Ray Killen, who had previously been unsuccessfully tried for the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner, is convicted of manslaughter 41 years afterwards (the case had been reopened in 2004).
#Mississippi #KKK #Goodman #Chaney #Schwerner