William Huskisson was a British member of parliament. He was run down by a train during the opening of first railway in 1830.
Thomas Midgley was an American inventor who was strangled in 1944 by a machine he had invented to help him move after contracting polio. He invented three products that have since been found to be environmentally harmful: lead in petrol, CFCs in fridges and aerosols and the insecticide DDT.
Last words of French Queen Marie Antoinette (1893), who accidentally trod on her executioner’s foot as she went to the guillotine: “Pardonnez-moi monsieur” (Pardon me, Sir).
Last word of Joseph Henry Green, a British doctor (1863), after checking his own pulse: “Stopped.”
Some non-Catholic countries such as Britain refused to adopt the Gregorian calender at first. The Julian calender, previously used in Britain was based on a solar year, the time taken for the earth to rotate around the Sun. This is 365.25 days, which is fractionally too long (it is actually 365.24219 days), so the calender steadily fell out of line with the seasons. In 1752, Britain decided to correct this by abandoning the Julian calender in favour of the Gregorian. By doing so, 3 September instantly became 14 September – and, as a result, nothing whatsoever happened in British history between 3 and 13 September 1752. Many people believed their lives would be shortened. They protested in the streets, demanding, “Give us back our 11 days!”
If we put the history of the Universe into the scale of a calender year, i.e. Big Bang on 1 Jan (midnight), then:
Earth formed on 12 September
First many-celled life formed on 18 December
First dinosaur on 24 December
Extinction of dinosaurs on 28 December
Homo sapiens (modern human) appears on 31Dec (11:55 PM)
Everything that happened in last 475 years takes place in less than the last second of the last minute of the year!