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Washington to Zizka
Washington, George (1732-1799)

"'Tis well."

George Washington was a hero of the American Revolution and the first President of the United States.  Some have claimed that Washington requested a Bible with his dying breath, but neither his doctors nor his private secretary recorded any such request, and they were all with him until the moment he died.  Washington did tell one of his physicians, "Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.  My breath cannot last long."  A short time later, he expressed concern that he not be buried alive, "I am just going.  Have me decently buried, and do not let my body be put into the vault in less than three days after I am dead.  Do you understand?"  "Yes, sir," the doctor replied.  "'Tis well," answered Washington.

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Webster, Daniel (1782-1852)

"I still live."

Daniel Webster was a U.S. statesman and lawyer who became well known throughout the nation for his exceptional oratory and impassioned defense of the Constitution.

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Wells, Herbert George "H. G." (1866-1946)

"Go away.  I'm all right." 

H. G. Wells was an English writer and social theorist.  One of his time's most influential writers, he, along with Jules Verne, is credited with inventing Science Fiction.  His best known novels, The Invisible Man, The Time Machine, and The War of the Worlds are still frequently read today, and his one-volume history of the world is recognized as the best ever compiled by a single author.

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Wirz, Henry, Captain, C.S.A. (?-1865)

"This is too tight."

Captain Wirz was a Swiss-born Confederate officer who had the misfortune to be given command of the infamous Andersonville prison camp following his recovery from wounds received at the Battle of Seven Pines.  Thousands of Union prisoners died from the poor conditions at Andersonville (as they did at nearly every other Civil War prison camp).  Following the war, Wirz was tried  for conspiring to "impair and injure the health and to destroy the lives of large numbers of Federal prisoners at Andersonville" and ordering or personally committing acts of assault or murder.  Despite a complete lack of evidence Wirtz was convicted and hung.

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Wolfe, James, General (1727-1759)

"What, do they run already?  Then I die happy." 

General James Wolfe was the British General that wrested Quebec away from the French in 1759.  His victory made the subsequent British conquest of Canada possible.  A fine commander, Wolfe was, none the less, killed during the battle and became a legendary hero. 

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Ziegfeld, Florenz (1869-1932)

"Curtain!  Fast music!  Lights!  Ready for the last finale!  Great!  The show looks good.  The show looks good."

Florenz Ziegfeld was a famous Broadway producer whose musical reviews featured fantastic sets and beautiful women.  He died hallucinating that he was directing one last show.

In the 1936 Oscar winning movie, The Great Ziegfeld, William Powell plays the producer, and Ziegfeld's last words are "I've got to have more steps.  I need more steps.  I've got to get higher.  Higher."

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Zizka, Jan (1358-1424)

"Make my skin into drumheads for the Bohemian cause."

Jan Zizka was a Czech general who, after the execution of Jan Huss, became the leader of the Bohemian Protestants.  He refused to accept the Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund, as the king of Bohemia even though he was offered a viceroyalty.  Zizka fought a series of battles against the empire and eventually liberated the entire country.  He entered Prague in June, 1424, but his success was short lived.  He died of bubonic plague later that year.

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