July 2015 BAH Short List
The Delcaration of Sentiments, The Seneca Falls Convention, July 19–20, 1848 and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
While an abolitionist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an outspoken advocate for women’s rights. Beyond the right to vote, she advocated for a broad range of issues which included women’s parental and custody rights, property rights, employment and income rights, divorce, the economic health of the family, and birth control. Stanton was the primary author of The Declaration of Rights and Sentiments. Modelled after the Declaration of Independence, it challenged the normative cultural treatment of women as property.
Full BAH Research
|Name & Event
||Reason important to Secular Humanism
|-Seneca Falls Convention and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
||The Seneca Falls Convention, which advertised itself as a “Womens Right Convention”.—A Convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman”, was the first women’s rights convention. Held in Seneca Falls,New York, it spanned two days over July 19–20, 1848. Attracting widespread attention, it was soon followed by other women’s rights conventions, including one in Rochester, New York two weeks later. In 1850 the first in a series of annualNational Women’s Rights Conventions met in Worcester, Massachusetts. Female Quakers local to the area organized the meeting along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was not a Quaker. They planned the event during a visit to the area by Philadelphia-based Lucretia Mott. Mott, a Quaker, was famous for her oratorical ability, which was rare during an era which women were often not allowed to speak in public.
||July 19–20, 1848
Short List for June 2015
On June 3,1895, Auguste Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais, on a high pedestal and enclosed by an iron fence, was unveiled in the Richelieu Garden in Calais.
Auguste Rodin’s sculptures are noted for his realism, especially with his focus on emotion and character. The sculpture The Burghers of Calais is a memorial to the heroism and costs of sacrifice by ordinary people and the often forgotten costs of war.
June, 1966: Project Washoe Begins at the University of Reno, in Reno, Nevada
Allen and Beatrix Gardner begin raising the chimp Washoe as they would a human child and communicate with Washoe using American Sign Language. Washoe successfully learned to communicate and express herself with humans. Work with Washoe lead to the bioethical position that the great apes are the moral equivalent to humans.
Anti-Defamation League ADL 2015 06 June Freedom from Religion Foundation FFRF Calendar 06 United Nations Observations UN Proclomations & Observances 2015 06 June
June BAH Details
|Name & Event
||Reason important to Secular Humanism
|Washoe and Allen and Beatrix Gardner
||Self-awareness and emotion One of Washoe’s caretakers was pregnant and missed work for many weeks after she miscarried. Roger Fouts recounts the following situation: “People who should be there for her and aren’t are often given the cold shoulder–her way of informing them that she’s miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing “MY BABY DIED.” Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat’s eyes again and carefully signed “CRY”, touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a tear would make on a human (Chimpanzees don’t shed tears). Kat later remarked that one sign told her more about Washoe and her mental capabilities than all her longer, grammatically perfect sentences.”  Washoe herself lost two children; one baby died shortly after birth of a heart defect, the other baby, Sequoyah, died of a staph infection at two months of age. When Washoe was shown an image of herself in the mirror, and asked what she was seeing, she replied: “Me, Washoe.” Primate expert Jane Goodall, who has studied and lived with chimpanzees for decades, believes that this might indicate some level of self awareness. Washoe appeared to experience an identity crisis when she was first introduced to other chimpanzees, seeming shocked to learn that she was not human. She gradually came to enjoy associating with other chimps. Washoe also enjoyed playing pretend with her dolls, which she would bathe and talk to and would act out imaginary scenarios. When new students came to work with Washoe, she would slow down her rate of signing for novice speakers of sign language, which had a humbling effect on many of them. Impact on bioethics Some believe that the fact that Washoe not only communicated, but also formed close and personal relationships with humans indicates that she is emotionally sensitive and is deserving of moral status. Work with Washoe and other signing primates motivated the foundation of the Great Ape Project, which hopes to “include the non-human great apes [chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas] within the community of equals by granting them the basic moral and legal protections that only humans currently enjoy”, in order to place them in the moral category of “persons” rather than private property.
||June, 1966: Project Washoe Begins at the University of Reno, in Reno, Nevada
|Aguste Rodin & The Burghers of Calais
||England’s Edward III, after a victory in the Battle of Crécy, laid siege to Calais, while Philip VI of France ordered the city to hold out at all costs. Philip failed to lift the siege, and starvation eventually forced the city to parley for surrender. Edward offered to spare the people of the city if any six of its top leaders would surrender themselves to him, presumably to be executed. Edward demanded that they walk out wearing nooses around their necks, and carrying the keys to the city and castle. One of the wealthiest of the town leaders, Eustache de Saint Pierre, volunteered first, and five other burghers joined with him. Saint Pierre led this envoy of volunteers to the city gates. It was this moment, and this poignant mix of defeat, heroic self-sacrifice, and willingness to face imminent death that Rodin captured in his sculpture, scaled somewhat larger than life. Although the burghers expected to be executed, their lives were spared by the intervention of England’s queen, Philippa of Hainault, who persuaded her husband to exercise mercy by claiming that their deaths would be a bad omen for her unborn child. http://bit.ly/RPNFhX
||On June 3,1895, Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais, on a high pedestal and enclosed by an iron fence, was unveiled in the Richelieu Garden in Calais
May Short List
Kenneth and Mamie Clark & Thurgood Marshall, Publication of Brown versus the Board of Education, The doll experiments
Kenneth and Mamie Clark did the research that lead to Thurgood Marshall winning the Brown versus Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that ended separate but equal segregation.
May 1847, Ignaz Simmelwiz institutes hand washing with cloronated lime at Vienna General Hospital’s First Obstetrical Clinic.
Early advocate for empiricism in medicine.
Anti-Defamation League ADL 2015 May Freedom from Religion Foundation FFRF Calendar May 2015 United Nations Observations UN Proclomations & Observances 2015 05 May
|Name & Event
||Reason important to Secular Humanism
||“What Humanism means to me is an expansion, not a contraction, of human life, an expansion in which nature and the science of nature are made the willing servants of human good.” — John Dewey, “What Humanism Means to Me” A Humanist Manifesto, also known as Humanist Manifesto I to distinguish it from later Humanist Manifestos in the series, was written in 1933 primarily by Raymond Bragg and published with 34 signers. Unlike the later manifestos, this first talks of a new religion and refers to humanism as a religious movement meant to transcend and replace previous, deity-based systems. Nevertheless, it is careful not to express a creed or dogma. The document outlines fifteen affirmations on cosmology, biological and cultural evolution, human nature, epistemology, ethics, religion, self-fulfillment, and the quest for freedom and social justice. This latter, stated in article fourteen, proved to be the most controversial, even among humanists, in its opposition to “acquisitive and profit-motivated society” and its demand for an egalitarian world community based on voluntary mutual cooperation. The document’s release was reported by the mainstream media on May 1, simultaneous with its publication in the May/June 1933 issue of the New Humanist.
||May 1 1933 Publication of the humanists manifesto
|Kenneth and Mamie Clark & Thurgood Marshall
||Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S.483 (1954), was a landmarkUnited States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation, insofar as it applied to public education. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court‘s unanimous (9–0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” As a result, de jureracial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This ruling paved the way for integration and was a major victory of the civil rights movement.
||May 17, 1954 Publication of Brown v Board of Education
||Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis[Note 1] (July 1, 1818 – August 13, 1865) (born Ignác Fülöp Semmelweis) was a Hungarian physician of German extraction now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “savior of mothers”, Semmelweis discovered that the incidenceof puerperal fever could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal, with mortality at 10%–35%. Semmelweis proposed the practice of washing with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital‘s First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors’ wards had three times the mortality of midwives’ wards. He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever. Despite various publications of results where hand-washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. Some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and Semmelweis could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings. Semmelweis’s practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory and Joseph Lister, acting on the Frenchmicrobiologist‘s research, practiced and operated, using hygienic methods, with great success. In 1865, Semmelweis was committed to an asylum, where he died at age 47 after being beaten by the guards, only 14 days after he was committed. Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever is a medical book by Ignaz Semmelweis. It includes studies in hospitals conducted in Vienna in 1847, dealing largely with the field of obstretics. It was translated into English by Kay Codell Carter in 1983. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/freakonomics/pdf/the%20etiology,%20concept%20and%20prophylaxis%20of%20childbed%20fever.pdf
||May 1847, Simmelwiz institutes hand washing with cloronated lime
Short list for April
Publication of the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath is an American realist novel written by John Steinbeck and published in 1939. The book won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and it was cited prominently when Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in 1962. Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, agricultural industry changes and bank foreclosures forcing tenant farmers out of work. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other “Okies”, they sought jobs, land, dignity, and a future. (From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grapes_of_Wrath )
Katharine Hepburn – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (awarded 2nd of 4 academy awards), received the American Humanist Association’s Arts Award in 1985.
“I’m an Atheist and that’s it,” said Katharine to Ladies Home Journal in 1991. “I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other, and do what we can for other people.”
Full BAH Listing and Research on April 2015
|Name & Event
||Reason important to Secular Humanism
|John Steinbeck and
||The Grapes of Wrath The Grapes of Wrath First edition cover Author John Steinbeck Cover artist Elmer Hader Country United States Language English Genre Novel Publisher The Viking Press-James Lloyd Publication dateApril 14, 1939 Media type Print (hardcover andpaperback) Pages 619 OCLC 289946
||Publishes in April
Here are the suggestions for January. We are trying to avoid birthdays and focus an important event.
February 2015 – BAH Suggestions
Publication of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
“Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everyone believes it’s right, it don’t make it right.” ― Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” ― Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony completed in February 1824.
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (sometimes known simply as “the Choral”), is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works of the repertoire of classical music. Among critics, it is almost universally considered to be among Beethoven’s greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written.
- Publication of article identifying DNA as the hereditary material of biology. Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty
In their paper “Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types: Induction of Transformation by a Deoxyribonucleic Acid Fraction Isolated from Pneumococcus Type III”, published in the February 1944 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Avery and his colleagues suggest that DNA, rather than protein as widely believed at the time, may be the hereditary material of bacteria, and could be analogous to genes and/or viruses in higher organisms. Please comment below if you prefer one of these or suggest someone or an event for January. Below are some places to look. Anti-Defamation League ADL 2015 02 February Freedom from Religion Foundation FFRF Calendar 02 United Nations Observations UN Proclomations & Observances 2015 02 February3
February Full BAH Research Listing
|Name & Event
||Reason important to Secular Humanism
||“Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everyone believes it’s right, it don’t make it right.” ― Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” ― Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer The main premise behind Huckleberry Finn is the young boy’s belief in the right thing to do though most believed that it was wrong. Hemingway also wrote in the same essay: “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.”
||February Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (or, in more recent editions, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885
|Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty
||The Avery–MacLeod–McCarty experiment was an experimental demonstration, reported in 1944 by Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty, that DNA is the substance that causes bacterial transformation, in an era when it had been widely believed that it was proteins that served the function of carrying genetic information (with the very word protein itself coined to indicate a belief that its function was primary). It was the culmination of research in the 1930s and early 1940s at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research to purify and characterize the “transforming principle” responsible for the transformation phenomenon first described in Griffith’s experiment of 1928: killed Streptococcus pneumoniae of the virulent strain type III-S, when injected along with living but non-virulent type II-R pneumococci, resulted in a deadly infection of type III-S pneumococci. In their paper “Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types: Induction of Transformation by a Deoxyribonucleic Acid Fraction Isolated from Pneumococcus Type III“, published in the February 1944 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Avery and his colleagues suggest that DNA, rather than protein as widely believed at the time, may be the hereditary material of bacteria, and could be analogous to genes and/or viruses in higher organisms.
||February 1944 Publication date
||Composition of Ninth Symphony completed  The Philharmonic Society of London originally commissioned the symphony in 1817. The main composition work was done between autumn 1822 and the completion of the autograph in February 1824. The symphony emerged from other pieces by Beethoven that, while completed works in their own right, are also in some sense sketches for the future symphony. The Choral Fantasy Opus. 80 (1808), basically a piano concerto movement, brings in a chorus and vocal soloists near the end to form the climax. As in the Ninth Symphony, the vocal forces sing a theme first played instrumentally, and this theme is highly reminiscent of the corresponding theme in the Ninth Symphony (for a detailed comparison, see Choral Fantasy). Going further back, an earlier version of the Choral Fantasy theme is found in the song “Gegenliebe” (“Returned Love”), for piano and high voice, which dates from before 1795. According to Robert W. Gutman, Mozart’s K. 222 Offertory in D minor, “Misericordias Domini”, written in 1775, contains a melody that foreshadows “Ode to Joy”. Premiere Although his major works had primarily been premiered in Vienna, Beethoven was eager to have his latest composition performed in Berlin as soon as possible after finishing it, since he thought that musical taste in Vienna had become dominated by Italian composers such as Rossini. When his friends and financiers heard this, they urged him to premiere the symphony in Vienna in the form of a petition signed by a number of prominent Viennese music patrons and performers. Beethoven was flattered by the adoration of Vienna, so the Ninth Symphony was premiered on 7 May 1824 in the Theater am Kärntnertor in Vienna, along with the overture The Consecration of the House (Die Weihe des Hauses) and three parts of the Missa solemnis (the Kyrie, Credo, and the Agnus Dei).
||February 1824 finished Premiered in May
||The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by the American journalist and novelistUpton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the lives ofimmigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. Many readers were most concerned with his exposure of health violations and unsanitary practices in the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century, based on an investigation he did for a socialist newspaper. The book depicts working class poverty, the absence of social programs, harsh and unpleasant living and working conditions, and a hopelessness among many workers. These elements are contrasted with the deeply rooted corruption of people in power. A review by the writer Jack London called it, “the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of wage slavery.” Sinclair was considered a muckraker, or journalist who exposed corruption in government and business. He first published the novel in serial form in 1905 in the socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, between February 25, 1905, and November 4, 1905. In 1904, Sinclair had spent seven weeks gathering information while working incognito in the meatpacking plants of the Chicago stockyards for the newspaper. It was published as a book on 26 February 1906 by Doubleday and in a subscribers’ edition. A film version of the novel was made in 1914, but it has since become lost.
||February Publication of the Jungle was in the socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, between February 25, 1905, and November 4, 1905.
Some general reminders about the project. First, we decided to limit the nominees this time to people who have passed on. This was for two reasons, one is to limit the scope. The other was to limit our likelihood of copyright issues over images used. I would add, that by delving into history, we show the depth and breathe of the movement and how critical humanists have been to getting us to where we are today. Second, what you are seeing are names and people nominated by other BAH members. These are the names or events in the actual post. Third, I have focused on events and achievements for picking the months. There are a lot of ways we can go and a lot of different calendars we can do. I just personally think that it is what you do that counts and by focusing on events and not something random like a birthday. Finally, there are a lot of calendars we can do as we move this project forward. The focus right now is to be able to tell a story for each month. I am willing to listen to other nominees for any month, but we need a story with the nominees at this point. So if you have a nominee, please provide information about the nominee or event or achievement and why it is relevant to the month.