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National Freethought Day 2023: Date, History, Facts about Salem Witch Trial

National Freethought Day is observed on October 12 for a reason: William Phips, the governor of colonial Massachusetts at the time, addressed a letter to the British monarchs on this date in 1692, expressing concern over the manner in which spectral evidence was utilized to hear and prosecute the Salem Witch Trials.

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National Freethought Day is annually observed on October 12. Why it has taken us so long to celebrate and bring attention to something as fundamental as independent thought is an irony. It is imperative that all democratic and free-spirited individuals are granted the liberty to engage in political, academic, and scientific inquiry. Humans, however, have historically been cynical of independent or singular thinkers. Prominent individuals including Einstein, Newton, Da Vinci, Galileo, Jesus, and numerous others, who held views that were opposed by the majority, were subjected to ostracism, persecution, and even execution. National Freethought Day fosters an atmosphere that promotes liberty and comprehension.

The background of National Freethought Day

National Freethought Day is observed on October 12 for a reason: William Phips, the governor of colonial Massachusetts at the time, addressed a letter to the British monarchs on this date in 1692, expressing concern over the manner in which spectral evidence was utilized to hear and prosecute the Salem Witch Trials. He lamented that the sole piece of evidence used to render a verdict was an individual’s subjective convictions and aspirations. During the Salem Witch Trials, the presumption that an individual was consorting with demons comprised the vast majority of the evidence; definitive proof was lacking. As a result of widespread agitation and protest, William Phips halted the Salem Witch Trials.

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The Freethought Society, the American Humanist Association, and the Secular Coalition For America were among the organizations that initiated Freethought Day celebrations in 1994. And despite the abolition of the Salem Witch Trials in 1693, persecution of those who hold an independent mind persists today. Historiography attests that individuals who deviated from the norms and conventions of their time and adopted unconventional (often eccentric) trajectories were either richly rewarded or met with severe opposition and social exclusion.

The fact that one’s ideas challenge established norms does not diminish one’s worthiness of being heard. We would have been deprived of some of the most dazzling discoveries, inventions, and creations in human history if freedom of thought had been prohibited. National Freethought Day was first observed in 1994; however, it was not until that year that it gained widespread popularity and was observed throughout the entire nation.

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5 Salem Witch Trial Facts That Will Astound You

Two young girls began the Salem Witch Trials by exhibiting inexplicable outbursts.

An early confessor to witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials was Tituba.

The initial individual to face execution for witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials was Bridget Bishop.

Two canines were executed throughout the trials after being accused and convicted of witchcraft.

The victims of the Salem Witch Trials were executed by hanging at the Gallows, not by burning.

NATIONAL FREETHOUGHT DAY DATES

YearDateDay
2023October 12Thursday
2024October 12Saturday
2025October 12Sunday
2026October 12Monday
2027October 12Tuesday
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khanhttps://www.eduvast.com
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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