Profession: Enlightenment Philosopher
Why Famous: French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and the separation of church and state.
- 1718-11-18 Voltaire's "Oedipe" premieres in Paris
- 1730-12-11 Voltaire's "Brutus" premieres in Paris
- 1732-08-13 Voltaire's "Zaire" premieres in Paris
- 1753-03-25 Voltaire leaves the court of Frederik II of Prussia
- 1762-03-10 French Huguenot Jean Calas, who was wrongly convicted of killing his son, dies after being tortured by authorities; the event inspires Voltaire to begin campaign for religious tolerance and legal reform
- 1765-01-11 Frisia bans Voltaire's "Traité sur la tolérance"
- 1765-03-09 After a public campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerate Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son had actually committed suicide.
- 1778-03-30 Playwright Voltaire crowned with laurel wreath
- "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."
- "Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do."