Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Leap Year

Although most years of the modern calendar have 365 days, a complete revolution around the sun takes approximately 365 days and 6 hours. Every four years, during which an extra 24 hours have accumulated, one extra day is added to keep the count coordinated with the sun's apparent position. That is why we have February 29 every 4 years. The leap year was introduced as part of the Julian calendar reform. February 29 came to be regarded as the leap day when the Roman system of numbering days was replaced by sequential numbering in the late Middle Ages.
Some important events that took place on February 29 in leap years:
1504 – Christopher Columbus uses his knowledge of a lunar eclipse that night to convince Native Americans to provide him with supplies.
1892 – St. Petersburg, Florida is incorporated.
1940 – For her role as Mammy in 'Gone with the Wind,' Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award.
1956 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower announces to the nation that he is running for a second term.
1960 – An earthquake in Morocco kills over 3,000 people and nearly destroys Agadir in the southern part of the country.
1960 – Family Circus cartoon series makes its debut.
1972 – Hank Aaron becomes the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to sign a $200,000 contract. Today a major league player makes that much at every 6 to 8 at-bats!
1980 – Gordie Howe of the then Hartford Whalers makes NHL history as he scores his 800th goal.
1996 – Faucett Flight 251 crashes in the Andes, killing 123 people.
2004 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide is removed as President of Haiti following a coup.
Gioacchino Rossini, Italian opera composer, born Feb 29, 1792
Some famous people born on February 29:
1468 – Pope Paul III (d. 1549)
1792 – Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer (d. 1868)
1812 – Sir James Wilson, Premier of Tasmania (d. 1880, also on February 29!)
1892 – Ed Appleton, American baseball player (d. 1932)
1904 – Jimmy Dorsey, American bandleader (d. 1957)
1908 – Balthus, French-Polish painter (d. 2001)
1916 – Dinah Shore, American singer and actress (d. 1994)
1924 – Al Rosen, American baseball player
1924 – Carlos Humberto Romero, President of El Salvador
1952 – Bart Stupak, American congressman

1 comment:

  1. Deerfield, Connecticutt was ambushed and razed by a combined French/ First Nation/Canadian raiding party on Feb 29, 1704 during Queen Anne's War..