The Great Disappointment was a major event in the history of the Millerites, a Christian denomination, in the United States. Around 50,000 people joined the movement that was to receive Jesus on October 22, 1844. Based on an interpretation of the event portrayed in Daniel 8:14, they waited to see the Second Coming as the event that was to be fulfilled on the appointed day. The specific passage reads, in the (King James Bible), as: And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Daniel 8:14)
Between 1831 and 1844, William Miller, a Baptist preacher, played a notable role in what historians have called the Second Great Awakening. The Millerite movement, named for William Miller, had significant influence on popular views of biblical prophecy, including upon the movement that later consolidated as the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Miller preached a set of fourteen rules for the interpretation of the Bible. Based on his study of the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, Miller calculated that Jesus would return to Earth sometime between 21 March 1843 and 21 March 1844. After the latter date came and went, the date was revised and set as October 22, 1844 based on the yearly Day of Atonement in Karaite Judaism.
When Jesus did not appear, Miller's followers experienced what came to be called "the Great Disappointment". Most of the thousands of followers left the movement. A group of the remaining followers concluded after biblical study that the prophecy predicted not that Jesus would return in 1844, but that the investigative judgment in heaven would begin in that year.
Miller recorded his personal disappointment in his memoirs: "Were I to live my life over again, with the same evidence that I then had, to be honest with God and man, I should have to do as I have done. I confess my error, and acknowledge my disappointment." Miller continued to wait for the second coming until his death in 1849.