Last Words Of: Robert Erskine Childers, Irish nationalist
Childers, an Irish nationalist whose opposition to elements of a British treaty put him on the wrong side of the Free State, was sentenced to be executed. Childers took the opportunity to shake the hand of every man in the firing squad, offering the advisory as an oddly humorous pro-tip.
Either that or word had gotten around about what shitty marksmen they were and he wasn't up for waiting two minutes for the reload volley.
Last Words Of: Tom "Black Jack" Ketchum, convicted murderer
Tom Ketchum was a thief, a murderer and worst of all a "morning person." It's why he had such tremendous verve despite his hanging being so early in the day. No executioner should be subjected to racket like this before their coffee has kicked in.
It's probably why Ketchum was "accidentally" afforded some additional slack in the line which caused him to be decapitated when he dropped through the gallows. Ooopsie.
Last Words Of: Voltaire, philosopher
This one requires a little context. Voltaire was a famous essayist, deist and apparently smartass.
So who is the "enemy" he's talking about in the above quote? It was his response to a priest at the side of his deathbed, asking Voltaire to use the precious few moments left to renounce Satan.
Last Words Of: Tallulah Bankhead, actress
Bankhead was an iconic (but alleged) lesbian, and celebrator of the good (read: chemically altered) life. She also had a knack for being terribly quotable (she once said she only threw two tantrums in a year, each being six months long).
To explain the relevance of her last words, one must only look to her earlier quote "Cocaine isn't habit forming. I should know--I've been using it for years". We're kind of in love with her.
Last Words Of: Kit Carson, pioneer
Once in a blue moon, God reaches down from his lofty perch, points at an infant boy and proclaims, "This one shall have balls carved out of fucking granite." Kit Carson was one such man.
From fur trapper, to wilderness guide, to frontier warrior, Kit Carson was so much man that he actually defecated Chuck Norris. In the end, all he needed to feel complete was one more hot, brown meal so he could crack an amusing fart while arm wrestling with God.
Ian ritually craps out quotes that all of us would be lucky to utter on our deathbeds at InternetSensation.com.
For more on the subjects of death and badassery, read up on The 5 Historical Figures Who Died the Strangest Deaths and The 6 Most Badass Stunts Ever Pulled In the Name of Science. Also see this video on why some subjects like this shouldn't be brought up during dates.