I would like to thank Penn Jillette for turning me on to Robert Ingersoll. I listen to the Penn Radio podcast on a more-or-less regular basis, because it is always entertaining, and often very educational and intellectual. One day, a few months ago, he mentioned Robert Ingersoll. I was curious, because I had never heard of Ingersoll. I then started searching on the internet and found his speeches and writings at http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/. I was amazed, to say the least. Upon further research I discovered Ingersoll's amazing popularity and influence in the 19th century. What bothers me, of course, is why isn't he in every American high school history book? The obvious answer that comes to mind is that his ideas are very much against establishment religions, especially Christianity, so he is suppressed. I think also, that since he never held prominent national political office, he was probably considered not important enough to include.
So, thank you, Penn Jillete for the enlightenment.
Check out the Penn Radio website at http://pennradio.com/.