Thomas Paine Day, also known as Freethinkers Day, is a day celebrated on June 8. It is dedicated to looking back and recognizing the life and work of Thomas Paine, who had many influences on society. It is also an opportunity to advocate the freedom and power of thought, which was heavily taught and portrayed by Paine himself. Some of his most acknowledged works include “The Age of Reason,” “The Rights of Man,” and “Common Sense.” These books and pamphlets have led to the making of his reputation, but it has stirred a mix of controversies and conversation as well within society.
History of Thomas Paine Day
Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, Norfolk, Great Britain on February 9, 1737. Although he had varied meager jobs that didn’t pay enough, he used his savings to purchase books for learning. He experienced a lot of disappointment and failure growing up in his hometown until he met Benjamin Franklin in London. Franklin encouraged him to move to America and helped him along the way by providing him with letters.In 1772, he started writing his first pamphlet called “Common Sense,” which was completed and published four years later. It was a success as hundreds of thousands of copies were distributed. This work of his was very influential on the superiority of representational government. Paine then enlisted under General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Seeing the troops hopeless and discouraged, Paine wrote “The American Crisis” to give them a sense of hope.Having a political career afterward, Paine became the clerk for Pennsylvania Assembly by 1779. He didn’t earn much from his writings and government work during this time and sought the help of the council. Paine went on to write and publish “The Rights of Man” in 1791 and finally the three parts of “The Age of Reason.” The latter book did not receive much praise and caused a lot of controversies. He even lost his credibility for this work as many criticized him for being anti-Church. He died on June 8, 1809, in New York City. The “Thomas Paine National Historical Association” infers to have custody of locks of his hair and parts of his brain.
Thomas Paine Day timeline
With the assistance of Benjamin Franklin, Paine is persuaded to emigrate and arrives in Pennsylvania on November 30.
On January 10, Paine publishes the pamphlet “Common Sense” and sells 150,000 copies by the end of that year.
As a secretary to the Congressional Committee of the Foreign Affairs, he, along with the assembly, passes an Abolition Act that frees 6,000 slaves.
In 1802, Paine publishes the third part of his book “The Age of Reason” which creates some disbelief in his credibility as some mistake it as an atheist approach.
Thomas Paine Day FAQs
When was Freethinkers Day celebrated?
Freethinkers Day has been celebrated since the 1990s, which sprouted from Thomas Paine Day.
What else did Thomas Paine do?
He was also very good at being an inventor. Some of the things he has developed and has been involved with are cranes, gunpowder, and smokeless candles.
Why did Paine’s book, “Age of Reason,” receive much criticism?
The British government prosecuted those who tried to print and distribute this book as for some, it exposed the corruption and deceit of the Church and suggested that the Bible was false and a work of fiction. Thus, the criticism received was by people who had the impression that Thomas Paine’s work was anti-Church in nature.
How to Observe Thomas Paine Day
Read up on Paine’s life and writings
To understand how Thomas Paine Day came about, it is essential to search and examine his life. Reading through his life and work will help you understand how he contributed to the many facets of thinking in society today.
Actualize his teachings
With the understanding of his works, you can now reason and think for yourself. Many factors in your life are an effect of laws, regimes, administrations, and processes of your country and even the world. With this in mind, you can think of ideas to improve these factors.
Join the Thomas Paine event
There is an event organized every year for those who are fans of Thomas Paine. These events aim to help people understand his life and writings even more. Many Freethought organizations will join in and share their thoughts on his life and a Q&A portion will be conducted for those who would like to ask questions.
5 Interesting Facts About Thomas Paine
Massive interest in bridges
After the Revolutionary War, he made many attempts to build bridges in America and England.
Tremendous engineering aspect
His greatest accomplishment is the development of the Sunderland Bridge in England in 1796; at that time, it was the second iron bridge ever built and the largest in the world.
Paine was also a soldier
He volunteered as a personal assistant to the General and traveled with the Continental Army.
He wrote other works and papers
Paine wasn’t the best soldier but he contributed by inspiring the army through his 16 “Crisis” papers which consisted of the famous quote “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
Not much support
Only six people visited and mourned him during his funeral; half of these were formerly enslaved.
Why Thomas Paine Day is Important
We appreciate Thomas Paine
We learn about the history and life of Thomas Paine, as well as all the works he has written. He influenced so many people to refigure their society and their lives, without even getting paid for most of his early writings as the proceeds went to the greater cause. Therefore, he should be appreciated for his good deeds.
We educate ourselves
We learn about the importance of learning in correspondence with thought. He had several contrasting views on the government, politics, society, and even social growth, and with this, he stirred people to believe that change was needed.
We get to take action for our freedom
Thomas Paine Day is a reminder that even today, we have to look at the social, economic, and political injustices in our society. With his writings and influence centuries ago, this day can still resonate with his works and inspire people to always imagine and act for universal human rights.
Thomas Paine Day dates