november 17 —not quite a birthday but cause for celebration
The Theosophical Society was officially founded in New York on 17 November in the year 1875 when Henry Steel Olcott delivered his Inaugural Address. This date is celebrated throughout the Theosophical Society, when the thoughts of members turn to the significance of the Theosophical Society formed by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge, and several others in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
The Preamble and By-Laws of the Society are filed in H.P. Blavatsky's scrapbook. The Preamble (dated October 30) states that the Society:
... is formed neither as a spiritualistic schism, nor to serve as the foe or friend of any sectarian or philosophic body. The work of the Founders is that which the Spiritualists have neglected, the Materialists have not attempted, and the Theologians have misunderstood and undervalued. The Theosophical Society has been organised in the interests of religion, science and good morals; to aid each according to its needs.
From The Handbook of the Indian Section, The Theosophical Society (Varanasi))