Nov 11th 2008 11:12PM I seem to remember a patch long ago, 1.4 or something, where the servers were down about this long. I also seem to remember them crediting every character with a full state of rest. This seems an unlikely option now though, with Wrath dropping in about 25 hours.
Nov 4th 2008 2:55PM The WoW manual has a decent quick rundown of lore, and the same info is available on the WoW site. Also, check out the "Know Your Lore" column here on Insider.