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Datebook: February 9 – Thomas Paine turns 275

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Thomas Paine was born February 9, 1737 NS (January 29 OS) and died June 8, 1809. He was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He has been called “a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination.” His principal contributions were the powerful, widely read pamphlet Common Sense (1776), the all-time best-selling American book that advocated colonial America’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and The American Crisis (1776–1783), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. “Common Sense” was so influential that John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense,’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.” Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791), in part a defense of the French Revolution against its critics. Despite not speaking French, he was elected to the French National Convention in 1792. He became notorious because of The Age of Reason (1793–94), his book that advocates deism, promotes reason and freethinking, argues against institutionalized religion and Christian doctrines. He also wrote the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1795), discussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.

It’s Thursday, February 9

Playhouse in the Park presents “Crowns” tomorrow and Saturday at 7PM and on Sunday at 2:30. Hats become a springboard for exploring black history and identity. The play’s characters use hats to tell tales about everything from flirting to funeral etiquette. Reserve tickets by calling the Playhouse at 759-1752.

A Sweet Treats Recipe Swap takes place on Saturday at 11AM at the Paducah Recreation Center. Bring fifty copies of your favorite dessert recipe to exchange. Some desserts will be available for sampling. There’s more at

The Yeiser Art Center hosts a workshop titled “Doodling with Bill” on Saturday, February 18, from 12:30 to 2. Artist Bill Ford teaches middle and high school students about the history and art of doodling. Each student will help create a group doodle as well as creating an individual work. The class fee is $25. Reserve a seat by calling 442-2453.

Find more information about these and other community events online at


Written by Matt Markgraf

February 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

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