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Oct 9 - ON THIS DAY in 1975, Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet physicist who helped build the USSR's first hydrogen bomb, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his struggle against "the abuse of power and violations of human dignity in all its forms."

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May 21, 1921 - Andrei Sakharov (d. 1989), Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist, is born (the Sakharov Prize, which is awarded annually by the European Parliament for people and organizations dedicated to human rights and freedoms, is named in his honor)

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Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner. Prominent leaders of the Soviet human rights movement. Courtesy of the International Memorial Society.

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Andrei Sakharov with a group of Soviet dissidents, Sakharov is the first from right, the first from the left is Naum Meiman from Moscow Helsinki Group

The Humanist Manifesto II is a stirring document outlining a philosophy for survival and fulfillment in our time. Signed by Andrei Sakharov, B.F. Skinner, Corliss Lamont, Betty Friedan, Sir Julian Huxley, Sidney Hook, Jacques Monod, Gunnar Myrdal, and 275 other distinguished leaders of thought and action, it has been hailed as a classic. Publication of the Manifesto has provoked world-wide debate over humanist recommendations for the future of humankind in the areas of religion and ethics…