That Time Again

Events in the life of Welsh coal miner David Wilson, born 1846:

  • Aug. 26, 1857: Fractured the forefinger of his right hand.
  • Aug. 26, 1859: Fell from horseback and broke his left leg below the knee.
  • Aug. 26, 1860: Broke both bones of his left forearm.
  • Aug. 26, 1861: Broke his left leg above the ankle.
  • Aug. 26, 1862: Broke both legs, the right one so badly that it had to be amputated.

Seeing a pattern, he renounced for 28 years doing any work on Aug. 26, but in 1890 he forgot the date, went to work, and broke his left leg for the fourth time.

“The number of accidents the man has had is wonderful, but by far the most remarkable fact in connection with his history is their all happening on a certain day in the year,” wrote Walter Kruse in the Strand. “It is only explainable on the supposition that some natural law is at work, and that this law is in some way connected with the earth’s revolution around the sun, because the accidents always happened precisely when the earth reaches the same position in its orbit around the sun. It is very evident we have not arrived at the summit of our knowledge, and that there are causes and influences at work which are not noticed by the casual observer.”