1963 February 27

Madalyn Murray Sues to Ban Bible Reading, Lord’s Prayer, in Baltimore Schools


Madalyn Murray (later O’Hair) was the most famous atheist of her time and an active opponent of government-sponsored religion. On this day, she and her son sued the Baltimore Public Schools for holding mandatory Bible reading in the schools. The case led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling, Murray v. Curlett, ending official Bible reading in American public schools. The decision is known by the companion case, Abington v. Schempp, decided on June 17, 1973.

Later, O’Hair was an outspoken advocate of atheism and the founder of the organization, American Atheists.

On November 2, 2002, Godless Americans conducted a march on Washington. The following day, November 3, 2002, the leaders of the march organized the Secular Coalition for America.

See a Madalyn Murray O’Hair interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rG9VI00Xqs&feature=related

Read: Bryan LeBeau, The Atheist: Madalyn Murray O’Hair (2003)

Learn more at a First Amendment Guide to the Bible and the public schools: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/madison/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/bible_guide_graphics.pdf

Read Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s FBI file: http://vault.fbi.gov/Madalyn%20Murray%20OHair

Learn more about separation of church and state: https://www.au.org/

Read: Jeremy Gunn and John Witte, No Establishment of Religion: America’s Original Contribution to Religious Liberty (2012)

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