If you're reading Cracked, or have any sense of history whatsoever, you already know that people from different religions tend to, uh, not always get along.
So it's probably no surprise that in 1600 Europe, a Catholic king named Ferdinand started shutting down Protestant churches like they were head lice and he was a fine-toothed comb. The Protestants called shenanigans (as usual) and said they could build chapels wherever they wanted. Things were so bad that a little get-together was set up at Prague Castle. And, as you can imagine, things quickly spiraled into ridiculous violence.
Even attempted murder seems jovial when your hats are that hilarious.
The Protestants, led by the ominously named Count Thurn, argued with the Catholics so much that many just started walking out of the meeting. After several hours, only three Catholics remained, including two nobles, Count Slavata and Count Martinitz. While everyone else thought they were to be arrested, Thurn instead pushed them out a window. From 70 feet up. Bada-bing, problem solved, Sopranos style!
Eh, not quite.
The Tiny Thing That Saved the Day:
Maybe we shouldn't call it minor, considering it saved two prominent lives, but a huge pile of shit just happened to be sitting right outside that window. Thurn had forgotten that this was the 1600s, and that the horse was the main method of transportation. And horses poop, like, all the time. You might as well assume that every window in the 1600s had a lifesaving man-high pile of manure under it.
We're pretty sure if they had been shot at, a horse would have farted Kevlar vests onto them.
Because the counts survived, they went on to inform their superiors of all that had happened (still covered in shit, remember), which would pretty much kick off the Bohemian Revolt AND the Thirty Years War. Had the manure not been there to cushion their fall, the two counts would have most likely died, which would have delayed both the revolt and the war for several months. This would have given both sides more time to prepare for war. This might have changed the outcome of the war (which was a victory for the Protestants) and started a chain reaction of events that could have radically changed history.
So if modern Europe has anyone to thank for the way things are today, they should start with a huge pile of shit.
For more tiny details that changed the world, check out 6 Tiny Things That Have Mind-Blowing Global Impacts and 6 Random Coincidences That Created The Modern World.