Because of the imminent demise (for the millionth time) of the earth that is to come on May 21, 2011, I am going to review some of my favorite "End-of-the-World" (EotW) predictions from the past. Most are based in religion, but there a few that come out of pseudo-science and technology.
Today, to kick things off, we have one of the most popular EotW predictions of all time. William Miller predicted that the EotW would come sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. The latter date came and went without incident along with another date shortly after (April 18) and Miller expressed his disappointment. Thoroughly convinced the final days were upon the earth, Miller went back to the drawing board and determined the correct date for the return of Jesus to be October 22, 1844. And lo and behold, on that day Jesus did return, and the world ended in spectacular fashion and I am not here today to post this. Oh, wait, that's right. The world didn't end and October 23, 1844 was known as "The Great Disappointment" among Miller's followers. From this day forward, nobody would make anymore EotW predictions (just kidding).
This series of predictions started the modern Adventist movement and many more prediction would come as we will see. This was a truncated history because there are so many other great resources to read about it. Tomorrow, we continue this line of history to its present day.