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On January 29, 1737, American patriot and Common Sense author Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, England

January 29, 2026

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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 29 of January, repeating indefinitely

On January 29, 1737, American patriot and Common Sense author Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, England. Paine’s Common Sense was the best-selling printed work by a single author in American history up to that time. Never before had a personally written work appealed to all classes of colonists and never before had a pamphlet been written in an inspiring style so accessible to the “common” folk of America.

Did you know? Common Sense may be the best-known of Paine’s writings, but another of his pamphlets, The American Crisis, was critical in rallying the patriots to a victory at Trenton in late 1776. Paine’s The American Crisis contains the famous quote:

“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

 

Thomas Paine, Laurent Dabos, c. 1792

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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January 29, 2026
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