Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany in January, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as president of the United States in March, Mohandas Gandhi carried out a hunger strike in May on behalf of the lower castes of India, the Vatican signed an accord with the Nazi regime in July, physicist and humanist Leó Szilárd conceived of the nuclear chain reaction in September, and the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, repealing Prohibition, went into effect in December. In the midst of this, on May 1, 1933, A Humanist Manifesto was released under the auspices of the New Humanist, the predecessor magazine to the Humanist. The document wasn't prescient. It didn't foretell the coming global struggle that would force the world to lose what remaining innocence it had. Rather, this statement of seventy-five years ago was an expression of a scientific and technological optimism, and the spirit of social reform and revolution that had been growing since the middle of the nineteenth century.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment