From John Hennessy (we’ll be doing a real post tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s something touching on a current theme):

Yesterday was not the first time the Apocalypse failed to arrive on time in the Fredericksburg region.  In October 1889, word went out over the national wires that an Adventist sect in near Screamersville, Spotsylvania County (a stop on the railroad linking Orange and Fredericksburg) had predicted that the world would come to an end on October 23, 1889, and if not “tonight, then certainly before the end of the month.” The Hartford Courant reported that the prediction had created “considerable excitement,” and that “a number of farmers have left their homes, turned their stock out on the commons and are living at the Adventist camp.  Others refuse to work and only go home at night.  Many farmers have not sowed their fall wheat on this account and say they will not put a single grain of seed in the ground, as the Lord will certainly come this year.”  The paper reported that about fifty Spotsylvanians were at the Adventist Camp, “waiting patiently and confidently for the end of the world.”

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