Thomas Paine Day

Thomas Paine Day is observed next on Saturday, June 8th, 2024 (45 days from today).

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Thomas Paine Day is dedicated to looking back and documenting the life and work of Thomas Paine, who had many social influences. It is also an opportunity to defend freedom and the power of thought, so much taught and portrayed by Paine. Some of his most recognized works are "Age of Reason", "Human Rights" and "Common Perspective". These books and pamphlets made his reputation, but it stirred a mixture of controversy and discussion as well as in society.

History of Thomas Paine Day

Thomas Paine Day educates the public not only about Paine's work but also about free thinkers, a concept his work often instills, rejecting arbitrary power and putting reason and logic before faith. The holiday began to be celebrated in the 1990s, when The Truth Seeker magazine began celebrating Paine's birthday, in an effort to educate the public about his importance to the history of freedom and free. They said the day can be celebrated by giving and displaying a white rose with thorns, which symbolizes beauty, purity, fragility but also danger, because of thorns. The Thomas Paine Foundation also began celebrating Paine's birthday in the 1990s, although they declared a separate holiday, Thomas Paine Day, to take place on June 8, the anniversary of his death.

Thomas Paine is a liberal thinker whose work inspires people to fight for social, political and economic progress. He was an early proponent of popular human rights and an end to slavery. Writing during the Age of Enlightenment, several of his books, pamphlets, and essays helped establish the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution. His most widely known works include Common Sense, The Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason.

Paine was born in Thetford, England in a family of a Quaker father and Anglican mother. He learned his father's trade at an early age and was not very successful in his subsequent jobs. For example, his stay-rope business failed. He also faced difficulties when his wife and child passed away during childbirth.

In 1768, Paine began working as a duty officer on the Sussex coast. He published his first political work four years later, a 21-page article titled "The Case of Distinguished Officers," defending higher pay for outstanding officers. He gave 4,000 copies to citizens and to members of Congress. He was fired from the excise office in the spring of 1774, but met Benjamin Franklin soon after, who advised him to move to America.

The shores of the American colonies first came into view of Thomas Paine on November 30, 1774. It was here that his fate changed: he would continue to play some part in the battles of American and French revolutions. He began helping edit the Pennsylvania Journal the following January, and then began publishing anonymously or under pseudonyms such as "Amicus" and "Atlanticus." He criticized Quakers for pacifism, and he espoused something similar to Social Security. "African Slavery in America" is an essay he wrote to condemn the African slave trade, signing it as "Justice and Humanity."

He began calling for an uprising and freedom from England and presented his ideas in Common Sense, a 50-page pamphlet published during the Revolution, on January 10th, 1776." This republican pamphlet, the first pamphlet advocating American independence, was an immediate success: some sources say 150,000 copies had been sold by the end of the year, while others say 500,000 were sold in just a few months. It makes the claim that a representative government is superior to a monarchy or other governments based on aristocracy or genetics. It asserted that for the colonies to survive they had to secede from Britain and that was the best time to do so. This is Paine's most influential work, and it has driven public opinion in the direction that independence is necessary. The colonialists remained largely undecided on the issue, and Paine's call for a revolt from British rule sparked debate, and led them to discussion in the streets.

Paine worked as General Nathaneal Greene’s personal assistant in the Revolutionary War. He published 16 articles titled The American Crisis from December 1776 to 1783. The first one began with the line, "These are the times that test men's souls." George Washington read this letter to his troops at Valley Forge, at a time when they were in despair, to try to lift them up and inspire them to victory.

In 1777, Congress appointed Paine as secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He was removed from the commission in 1779 after he cited secret documents and revealed secret negotiations with France. He later became secretary of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. He began sourcing supplies for the army and authored "Public Good" in 1780, which called for the replacement of the Articles of Confederation with a "continental constitution" that provided for a single government.

In April 1787, Paine returned to England, where he heard about the burgeoning revolutionary movement in France, and resolved to support it. From March 1791 to February 1792, he published several editions of Human Rights, in which he defended the French Revolution, in response to Edmund Burke's 1790 attack on it. Human Rights were more than a revolutionary call: it criticized European aristocratic society and inheritance law. England banned the book and prosecuted Paine for treason in the summer of 1792, but he was on his way to France at the time, to oversee the French translation of the book.

Instead of calling for King Louis XVI's execution, Paine called for his expulsion. After the radicals and Robespierre took over France, Paine was sent to prison and nearly executed. He was in prison from December 28, 1793 to November 4th, 1794. This time was the publication of the first part of The Age of Reason. This three-part book explores religion and its place in society. It has a single point of view, which is critical of institutionalized religion and Christian theology. The second and third parts of the book were published after Paine's release from prison. Again, Paine noticed that one of his works was banned in England.

After his release from prison, Paine remained in France until President Thomas Jefferson invited him to the United States, where he arrived in 1802 or 1803. His status as an important figure of the Revolution dwindled, and had to for more than a century then he was once again remembered for his contributions, and his reputation continued to improve. One reason for his decline in stature in his own day was that he was widely known to criticize George Washington, publishing "Letter to George Washington", which attacked the former President and accused him of fraud and corruption.

Thomas Paine died on June 8th, 1809 in New York City. Only a handful of mourners attended his funeral, and he was buried in his estate in New Rochelle. About a decade later, his remains were stolen by William Cobbett, a radical journalist who planned to bury them in England. Cobbett said he wanted to display Paine's bones to raise funds for a memorial, but the final bones remained in Cobbett's vault until his death. Then they became lost after real estate auctioneers refused to sell them.

The shift in public perception of Paine's importance began in January 1937, when the Times of London called him "British Voltaire". He is eventually remembered as a famous player during the American Revolution. In 2001, New Rochelle began efforts to find a way to retrieve Paine's remains and give them a proper burial. The whereabouts of his remains are unknown, although the National Historical Society Thomas Paine claims possession of fragments of his brain and locks of hair. No matter where Paine's bones lie, his legacy remains intact. On Thomas Paine Day, we remember his importance to history, as well as his contributions to free think at his perspective on the revolution in Common Sense and Human Rights as well as the religion in the Age of Reason.

How to celebrate Thomas Paine Day

  • Read about Paine's life and writings

To understand how Thomas Paine Day came to be, it is essential to search and examine his life. Reading through his life and work will help you understand how he contributed to many aspects of thinking in today's society.

  • Realize his teachings

With an understanding of his works, you can now reason and think for yourself. Many factors in your life are influenced by the laws, regimes, governments and processes of your country and even the world. With this in mind, you can come up with ideas for improving these elements.

  • Join the Thomas Paine event

There is an event held every year for those who are fans of Thomas Paine. These events aim to help people better understand his life and works. Many of Free thought’s organizations will join and share their thoughts on his life, and a Q&A session will be made available to those who want to ask questions.

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 wrote. He influenced so many people to reshape society and their lives, not even getting paid for most of his original works because the proceeds go to a greater cause. So he should be appreciated for his good deeds.

  • We educate ourselves

We learn about the importance of learning that corresponds to thinking. He had a number of conflicting views on government, politics, society and even social development, and with this he stirred people to believe that change was needed.

  • We must act for our freedom

Thomas Paine Day is a reminder that even today, we must look at the social, economic and political injustices in our society. With his works and influence dating back centuries, it is still possible to echo his works today and inspire people to always imagine and act for global human rights.


Thomas Paine Day has been observed annually on June 8th.


Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Thursday, June 8th, 2023

Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Sunday, June 8th, 2025

Monday, June 8th, 2026

Also on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

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