September 11. As you've seen above, the September 11th attacks in 2001 left a lot of ill tastes in a lot of media. Even having a birthday on that day is considered a downer (cf. Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges).
It gets worse. Americans actually backed (re: funded, armed, and trained) some of the people who would eventually become the Taliban against the Soviet Union when they were fighting in Afghanistan. Yeah.
Also that same day, a blue-ribbon panel released the final and definitive report, roughly an hour earlier, concerning another massive sneak attack on the USA: Pearl Harbor.
"Hitler indicates only one way out of the over-population of Europe, primarily of Germany, and that is the East. (...) The Nazis are against assimilation but not against annexation. They prefer the extermination of the conquered 'inferior' peoples to their Germanization. For the time being, fortunately, this is only a matter of hypothetical conquests." Leon Trotsky on Adolf Hitler
War of Machines contains the line "Japanese scientists further advised their government that neither the Germans nor the Americans could possibly deflect enough of their productive resources to a bomb project to have a weapon [usable] in the current war."
An American journalist, Eugene P. Lyle Jr., wrote that by 1938 a defeated Germany would rise again to start a war of "monstrous proportions". This was in 1918, two months before the end of WW1 (which caused everyone to forget about the article, according to the link). Clearly, this guy was one Genre Savvy propagandist.
He wasn't alone in this prediction, either--the list of people who expected this to happen (especially at the end of World War One as the peace was negotiated) is sufficient and push it through this trope and into wondering how unGenre Savvy you'd have to have been to think it really was going to be the War to End All Wars.
Among the most influential voices warning of conflict as a consequence of the peace treaties was the great economist John Maynard Keynes.
It was a great war. They were bound to make a sequel!
When Ferdinand Foch took one look at the Treaty of Versailles, the agreement that ended World War One, he said "This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years." Guess what happened about 20 years later?
This is a bit of an unusual example, however, if only because unlike most modern commentators, Ferdinand Foch's argument was not that the Treaty was too harsh but rather that it wasn't harsh enough. Foch was among many French statesmen and military figures who believed that Germany after WWI should have been partitioned and forcibly disarmed.
German romantic-nationalist poet and liberal thinker Heinrich Heine is most famous today for his observation that "Where they burn books, in the end they will burn people too", made in 1821 in a play about the Spanish Inquisition. Heine's works were censored in his own time and later literally burned by the Nazis. Heine was a Jew.
This is the concluding passage of Heine's Religion and Philosophy in Germany, written in 1832: "Christianity -- and that is its greatest merit -- has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered, the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame...The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals....Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder...comes rolling somewhat slowly, but...its crash...will be unlike anything before in the history of the world. ...At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead, and lions in farthest Africa will draw in their tails and slink away. ...A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll."
Not quite as prescient as it might seem. Hitler knew how to appease the population and could pander to Christians in order to win their acquiescence. Worth watching: http://nobeliefs.com/images/HitlerOath.mpg (which is as chilling now as it was then).
Also, it is a typical Romantic 'pagan revivalism' that has pretty much nothing to do with political, materialistic nature of the Third Reich. And there was no dramatic revolution, just a long, cruel war that ended with fall of the Germany and final demise of German militarism.
This is actually an example in a different way - it can also be seen to refer to WWI. Rather than "mitigate the German brutal love of war", the Evangelical Church enthusiastically endorsed the Kaiser's army, and continued to be a bastion of conservatism and monarchism right through until 1945.
The opinion of William Jennings Bryan (prosecutor in Scopes Trial among other things) that Social Darwinism was undermining morality in Germany. The resulting eugenics movements of course being implemented in varying degrees involuntarily on the disabled or otherwise "handicapped (mentally or physically)" in Nazi Germany until the Catholic Bishops in Germany let it be known they considered the issue was non-negotiable, and Hitler needed all his troops available for his invasion of the Soviet Union. Also, by then Germany had newly conquered territory, so his killers were sent abroad to set up death camps for the Jews (though his eugenics movements continued on a smaller scale unofficially).
Somewhat funny in hindsight in that Hitler technically died a Catholic (the only Nazi to be excommunicated was Goebbels - for marrying a Protestant, while Hitler had long ago stopped actively participating he was never formerly separated from the church). Hitler promised religious education for youths in return for endorsement from the Church. Now the Church supports the theory of evolution and the average American is woefully ignorant of it. Not to mention the US was conducting sterilisation programs and the Tuskegee syphilis trials at the time.
Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, in her profile, listed "jealous people" as a turn-off. In 1980, she was murdered by her jealous husband, Paul Snider.
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, in which he relates being stabbed in the heart years before, when if he had even sneezed he would have died. He goes on to list all the remarkable things he had done since then, from sit-ins, to freedom rides, to telling the USA about a dream he had, all of which he could not have done or seen had he died. He then goes on to acknowledge the threats that have been made against him, and states that "like anybody, I would like to live a long life", but concludes by telling his audience, "I'm not worried about anything! I'm not fearing any man!" King gave this speech on the night of April 3, 1968. His assassination was on April fourth. To a point he may have been expecting it or at least anticipated that someone might try to kill him, since he often gave versions of the "Promised Land" speech when violent events were happening, like the riots that had just broken out in Memphis.
The Boondocks referenced this by positing an Alternate Universe where King merely lay unconscious in a coma until very recently, and how he reacted to the modern world when he woke up.
To fully understand the speech, you must remember that Dr. King was a minister, and you need to read Deuteronomy.
The musical 1776 actually changed a quote of the real John Adams to avoid this. His comment on removing the slavery clause in the Declaration of Independence: "If we give in on this, there will be trouble a hundred years hence; posterity will never forgive us." He was off by a decade and a half. This and Reality Is Unrealistic: the writer feared the audience would think he was Anvilicious, not realizing Adams actually said this.
Three time Formula One champion Ayrton Senna once said this:
I want to live fully, very intensely. I would never want to live partially, suffering from illness or injury. If I ever happen to have an accident that eventually costs my life, I hope it happens in one instant.
That's exactly what happened when he crashed and died at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
On top of that, he denied the opporturnity to drive in the Indy Car-Series in 1992, because he was too scared of crashing into wall with more than 220 miles per hour.
French author Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc's book Annals of a Fortress goes through two thousand years of siege warfare and then ends with an examination of the feasibility of reinforcing the entire Franco-German border. He decides it would be cripplingly expensive and easily neutralized by advances in cannons and tactics. This was written in 1876.
Which is six years after the Germans defeated France and beseiged and conquered Paris in the Franco-Prussian War. It's not like Germany never fought France before WWI or II.
The real irony is that the French ignored this advice and after WWI constructed the Maginot line, reinforcing the border to the point that it would have been suicidal to go through it. Hitler being Genre Savvy, he followed the Schlieffen Plan. And the Allies expected them to do the same in 1940, and deployed most of their forces into Belgium to meet the Germans head on. Only problem was the German Panzers were rolling through the Ardennes forest, the weak point between the Maginot Line and the main Allied armies, the rest being history. Given that the Germans were actually going to follow the Schlieffen Plan until General von Manstein got his way in early 1940 and that the Ardennes were widely considered unfit for large scale armoured deployment, the Allies were not as stupid as it might sound.
In 1969, John Lennon remarked in an interview that he tried to be as humourous as possible with regards to his political agenda because 'all the serious people, like Martin Luther King and Kennedy and Gandhi, got shot." Just over ten years after that interview, Lennon crossed paths with Mark David Chapman...
In an interview in the sixties, John was asked how he expected to die. He replied "I'll probably be popped off by some loony."
At the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery, which houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the archway leading into the amphitheater is inscribed with words from Horace: "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" - "It is sweet and honorable to die for one's country." The Memorial Amphitheater was opened in 1913 by Woodrow Wilson. By the end of World War One, those words would be inextricably linked to Wilfred Owen's poem about the waste and futility of war Dulce et Decorum est indeed. Worse, Owen was killed just days before the Armistice occurred.
"Pistol" Pete Maravich, at age 25: "I don't want to play 10 years and then die of a heart attack when I'm 40." After a 10-year NBA career, Maravich collapsed and died of a heart attack on January 5, 1988 -- a little more than six months shy of his 41st birthday.
During an interview, Jim Morrison heard about the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Turning to the interviewer, he held up his glass and said "You're drinking with number three." Not too long afterwards, he was gone.
This board game. Or maybe it's Hilarious in Hindsight, depending on your sense of humor. (And yes, your rig could blow up in the game, for a penalty of one million dollars. I guess that one actually had the safeguards installed.)
Once during the 50's, a Japanese girl called Michiko Shouda went through an arranged date with a promising novelist named Kimitake Hiraoka, but they didn't marry. She went on to marry none other but Crown Prince, later emperor Akihito...and in The Seventies, her ex-boyfriend of sorts Hiraoka (now known as Yukio Mishima) staged a coup to give Akihito's father The Emperor (Hirohito, properly known since his death as Showa, after the name of his reign) back his powers as the leader of the country, and committed Seppuku when it didn't work.
In this interview, David Foster Wallace talks about how, even though there have been hard times in his life, and he doesn't have a clear path or motivation going forward, it's not like he's going to kill himself or anything.
Before his Vigilante Execution by Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald was told (jokingly) by the policeman he was handcuffed to that if someone was going to shoot him in the mob of press they'd be walking out into, he hoped that they'd be a good shot. Oswald told the man he was being melodramatic and that nobody was going to shoot him. Shortly after they entered the mob of reporters, Jack Ruby shot Oswald.
On a related note to the above, John F Kennedy's very famous inaugural address to his nation in 1961 features some very jarring examples.
All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
To elaborate, the life of his administration, which only lasted one thousand (actually 1,036) days, was ended along with his own when Kennedy was sadly assassinated in Dallas, Texas in 1963.
At Eleanor Roosevelt's funeral, Adlai Stevenson said to President Kennedy, "It may be some comfort to you, sir, to know that the White House is not the end and that you may find something to do when you leave here, whenever that may be." Obviously, Kennedy never got to retire from the White House, being that he was then assassinated that following year.
In an interview, a Christian radio host tried to persuade Christopher Hitchens that if God exists, surely Hitchens would feel some indebtedness to him - for everything from the fame he enjoys to his good health. A few years later, Hitchens was diagnosed with cancer of the throat and lungs at the not-tremendously-advanced age of 61 and has stated he is unlikely to live another five years. Listening to that interview now makes the host seem like an extra naive dunderhead. Hitchens, of course, has vowed he will not make a last-minute conversion, and should not be believed if for some reason he did cave in.
After his Gemini 3 mission in 1965, astronaut Gus Grissom said at a press conference, "If we die, we want people to accept it. We're in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life." Grissom and his crew mates Ed White and Roger Chaffee died in the Apollo 1 fire two years later.
Michael Jackson had publicly announced to his fans & the world in early 2009 that he's launching his final tour called "This Is It!". Later during the summer on June 25, 2009, he died.
Before the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili's last phone call to his father included "I'll win or die trying."
Sarah Palin's "Take Back the 20" website showed crosshairs over various states, including the very district in Arizona Gabrielle Giffords was elected for. A fundraiser event for Gifford's opponent, Jesse Kelly, featured shooting a fully automatic M15 with Kelly. Then Mrs. Giffords was shot in the head...However, she survived.
Related to the above note, a blogger had stated that Giffords was, "dead to me", just days before her shooting  It should be noted it was a figure of speech.
In January 2001, Oklahoma State University basketball coach Eddie Sutton aired a broadcast of his regular OSU Basketball show, which opened with a CGI plane flying over an open field. The guest was OSU point guard Nate Fleming. The show ended with Coach Sutton thanking the OSU donors who provided the planes to transport the OSU players and staff to and from various road games. However, on the return trip from the following road game, one of the planes crashed in a field, killing ten passengers, including Nate Fleming.
The fact that Demi Lovato has been criticized for being 'larger' than the average Disney star, when in reality she actually has an eating disorder.
When Pat Nixon died on June 22, 1993, an observer opined that Richard Nixon, without his wife, "wouldn't last a year". He died on April 22, 1994, four days after having a massive stroke.
In 2006, Bam and April Margera said that they had Jackass co-star Ryan Dunn "in the death pool" for "death by vehicle". On June 20, 2011, Ryan Dunn and his friend died in a fiery car crash after a night of drinking.
Amy Winehouseonce said that one of her fears was joining the 27 Club (the name given to singers who have died at age 27). On July 23rd, 2011, Amy's fears came true.
At the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner, Seth Meyers joked that Osama Bin Laden was hosting a talk show on C-SPAN. The next day, Obama announced Bin Laden's death. This one was arguably Hilarious in Hindsight for most people.
Hillary Clinton had been at a wedding that weekend and someone had asked her "when are we gonna get Bin Laden?" Being one of only a handful of people who knew about the raid (she couldn't even tell her husband), she quickly made some non-committal remark and excused herself.
On another tragic Elton John note, Elton was consoled at the funeral of his best friend, designer Gianni Versace, who died in July of 1997 from a gunman's bullet, by Princess Diana of Wales. In August of that year, Diana would die in a car crash while fleeing paparazzi. Elton would be called to sing "Candle In The Wind" at her funeral.
Even harsher as Elton had already (successfully) fought a battle with tabloid newspapers in 1987, while Versace's death, in a way, would echo the murder of his friend John Lennon in 1980.
The 1928 Republican Party platform stated, "Under this Administration the country has been lifted from the depths of a great depression to a level of prosperity." The very next year, the stock market would crash, plunging the US into the Great Depression.
At the end of his Comedy Central Roast, William Shatner calls out Greg Giraldo, stating that he's a nobody and if life was like an episode of the original Star Trek from 1966, Giraldo would have been wearing a red shirt and have been killed by now. It would actually be a drug overdose that killed Giraldo years after that special.
There's a now-memetic video of a large man dancing like a lunatic while playing DDR, only to fall off once he gets down, funny at first, but he was asked about the video and it turns out the fall was because the stress of his weight and the movement actually made his ankle break clean in half.