This is conjunction was a very impressive coincidence, and motivates a search for what days that were a bad day for getting recognized in the obituaries. The most prominent obituary victim is John Adams , who famously died July 4, 1826, the same day as his friend and rival Thomas Jefferson . Other interesting conjunctions include:
- Scientists Pierre-Simon Laplace  and Alessandro Volta  (both on March 5, 1827)
- Philosopher Gottlob Frege  and William Jennings Bryan  (both on July 26, 1925)
- Composer Sergei Prokofiev  and Joseph Stalin  (both on March 5, 1953)
Our methodology here involved summing up the significance scores of all the people who died on a given date. One might quibble whether this is truly the best criteria, for it can turn a larger number of smaller figures into a badder day than a smaller number of bigger figures.
However, it does a terrific job identifying dates which are readily understandable as to why several prominent people died that day. See if you can guess why just by looking at the date:
- October 16, 1946 (total significance 31.57) -- This was the day of ultimate judgement at Nuremberg: when nine Nazi war criminals were hung for their crimes against humanity. The most significant in this batch was Joachim von Ribbentrop , the German Foreign Minister. He would have taken a back seat to Gestapo founder Hermann Goering, who killed himself the night before to avoid execution.
- September 11, 2001 (total significance 30.37) -- The attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Several prominent victims died in these attacks, but much of this total comes from the rankings of the terrorists themselves.
- April 15, 1912 (total significance 25.31) -- The sinking of the Titanic. The most prominent single victim was John Jacob Astor IV, one of the wealthiest men in the world at that time.
- July 17, 1918 (total significance 16.95) -- The execution of the Romanoffs, most prominently Czar Nicholas II of Russia.
- November 22, 1963 (total significance 15.24) -- The assassination of President Kennedy, with coincidental deaths of C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley
- June 25, 1876 (total significance 15.79) -- The Battle of the Little Bighorn, a.k.a as Custer's Last Stand. The most prominent victim was, not surprisingly, George Armstrong Custer  himself.
- July 3, 1863 (total significance 14.95) -- The last day of the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg.
- February 3, 1959 (total significance 13.97) -- The day the music died: the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly , Ritchie Valens , and The Big Bopper .
- March 5, 1953 (total significance 13.25) -- Coincidental deaths of two prominent Russians:, Joseph Stalin  and composer Sergei Prokofiev.
- June 30, 1934 (total significance 12.83) -- Night of the Long Knives, a purge when Hitler and the Nazis murdered many opposing German political leaders.
- July 4, 1826 (total significance 12.46) -- 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the well-known coincidental deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams