A highly satisfying orgy of last facts, compiled by librarian Brahms.
Collected here are some 16,000 lasts: historically significant events, people, places and things that marked the end of an era–some unfortunate, some coming none too soon. Of course, this is a work in progress, not just due to the enduring nature of finality, but also because of the sheer breadth of the topic: the entry regarding the last of the Wild West showmen (Buffalo Bill Cody, by the way) demonstrates just how obscure the categories can become. Some of the material could easily be read as firsts–the last year of a minimum wage was also the first year of a new minimum wage, for instance. And much of the material on the nations of the world simply represents shifts in controlling power--in Samoa, for example, the end of German control was the start of New Zealand's occupation. Nonetheless, who isn't at least mildly interested in any of the following: the last of the Hatfield-McCoy feudists; what happened to the Seven Wonders of the World; the last of the wolves in Scotland; or the many defunct sports teams that used to give so many so much pleasure (within these pages you’ll find the opponent and score of the Boston Bulldogs' final game)? Brahms also includes a satisfying section on language extinction, and he even documents the last spanking of a private-school student in Great Britain (1998). Given the subject matter, it would have been interesting to know which of those highlighted are still alive. Still, for the fact-hound, this one won't be a letdown.
Packed with more factoids than a game of Trivial Pursuit, and enormously addictive.