The world talks about free thinkers and universal thoughts unquestioned by others. It’s a nice idea but that is not what today is all about. It has everything to do with the upcoming Halloween season though, at least in a way.
It’s all about this man, who was Governor of Massachusetts back in the 1600’s. It is in fact, he who nearly singly-handed brought about the end of the Salem Witch Trials.
It sort got started by the man above, Cotton Mather, who led the charge against those who reported seeing witches and his father, Increase, who passed judgement on those he felt were guilty of worshiping the devil. Phips wrote a paper, or letter, to the council of the British Monarch in 1692 that ended the Salem Witch Trials saying, in essence, that people were free to think what they wanted, to think without interference from the government or the church (often in league with the government).
This letter convinced the government, and church leaders, that the trials were not being held within the constraints of government, limiting people to be free with their thoughts concerning seeing specters and the viability of spectral evidence.
This letter effectively ended the trials, hangings, and other penalties dished out by the religious leaders. The government would no longer allow state officials to participate, nor give license to those carrying out the punishments, which effectively ended the trials. Without the support of the state, or the monarchy, the trials could not continue.
October 12th, 1692 became Freethought Day due to Phips and has been celebrated ever since.
How to celebrate – Try having a few free thoughts of your own. Ones that are not influenced by the government! Write thank you letters to William Phip (though I doubt he’ll read them). Visit Salem and see just how crazy people can actually get.