NATIONAL FREETHOUGHT DAY | OCTOBER 12
Annually on October 12th, National Freethought Day encourages people to be free thinkers and base their opinions on facts, science, logic, and reason.
The day promotes logic and evidence-based decision making. Additionally, the observance offers an opportunity for freethinkers to have a sense of community. It also provides a way to open a dialogue and share their opinions.
HOW TO OBSERVE FREETHOUGHT DAY
Think rationally and use #FreethoughtDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL FREETHOUGHT DAY HISTORY
Several groups since at least 1997 have promoted Freethought Day. Organizations such as the Freethought Society, American Humanist Association, and Secular Coalition For America are just a few.
The organizers selected the date of October 12th due to a series of events dating back to the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. Throughout the trials, questionable evidence and accusers’ claims of witnessing devils and specters caused the case to halted. Eventually, the hysteria surrounding the case and a letter written by the Massachusetts Governor William Phips on October 12th declared “spectral evidence” inadmissible in court. Up until that point, at least 20 accused had already been executed. The governor’s letter saved hundreds of lives.
At some point, the trials did resume and “spectral evidence” was allowed but largely discounted and those convicted were swiftly pardoned by Phips.