Today's Holidays for February 29
Leap Day (also known as Bachelor's Day) In 1288, Scotland enacted a law allowing women to propose marriage on Leap Day; the man was fined if he refused.
Today's History Trivia for February 29
1692 Salem Witch Trials Ten young girls accuse Sarah Good and a female slave of bewitching them. In the following months 20 people would be executed for witchcraft. Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
1504 Columbus Uses Lunar Eclipse to Frighten Indians Columbus "makes the moon go out." He used his knowledge of the upcoming lunar eclipse to frighten the Indians into bringing his crew much-needed supplies.
1968 The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band wins a Best Album Grammy.
1960 First Playboy Club is opened by Hugh Hefner in Chicago.
1944 First Woman Secretary of a National Political Party Dorothy McElroy Vredenburg is appointed secretary of the Democratic National Committee (1944–1989). This also made her the youngest person elected as an officer of either the Democratic or Republican party.
1940 First black actress to win an Oscar Hattie McDaniel wins for her supporting role in Gone With The Wind.
1796 First U.S. extradition treaty with a foreign country The Jay Treaty - signed with Great Britain in 1794 - is proclaimed law.
1704 Deerfield Massacre French and Indians attack the garrison in Deerfield Massachusetts to recover a stolen bell. Forty-seven people were killed and 120 were taken prisoner.
Today's Birthdays for February 29
1840 Sgt. William Harvey Carney d. 1908 American soldier. He was the first black to receive the Medal of Honor (1900) for bravery in 1863. During the Civil War assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina, Carney, although wounded four times, struggled across the battlefield and retrieved the Union flag. This battle is portrayed in the film Glory (1989).
1972 Pedro Zamora d. 1994 Cuban-American AIDS activist. He appeared in MTV's Real World series. He was one of the first openly gay men with AIDS in the media.
1940 Gretchen Christopher American singer, with the high school group The Fleetwoods. Music: Come Softly to Me (1959, #1) and Mr. Blue (1959, #1).
1920 Howard Nemerov d. 1991 American Pulitzer-winning poet, third U.S. poet laureate.
1916 Dinah Shore d. 1994 (Frances Rose Shore), American singer, Emmy-winning TV personality. She won a total of 10 Emmy awards, more than any other performer.
1904 Jimmy Dorsey d. 1957 American bandleader of the Big Band Era, brother of Tommy.
1900 Jean Negulesco d. 1993 Rumanian film director. Film: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and Three Coins in a Fountain (1954).
1896 William Augustus Wellman d. 1975 American film director, Wings (1927, winner of the first Best Picture Oscar), Public Enemy (1931), and The Ox-Bow Incident (1943).
1792 Gioachino Antonio Rossini d. 1868 Italian operatic composer. Opera: The Barber of Seville (1816) and William Tell (1829).
1736 Ann Lee d. 1784 English mystic, religious leader, founded Shakerism in America (1774).
1692 John Byrom d. 1763 English poet. Writings: Three Black Crows and Fig and Sutton. He invented and published (1767) a system of shorthand titled The Universal English Shorthand.
Deaths for February 29
1964 Frank Albertson b. 1909 American actor. Film: It's a Wonderful Life (1946, Sam Wainwright), and Bye Bye Birdie (1963, Sam the Mayor).
1960 Melvin Purvis b. 1903 American FBI agent, was the FBI agent in charge during the killings of John Dillinger and "Pretty Boy" Floyd.
1908 Pat Garrett b. 1850 American sheriff. He shot and killed Billy the Kid (1881).
1868 Ludwig I b. 1786 King of Bavaria (1825-48), he made dancer Lola Montez a countess and gave her authority over state affairs. This led to the revolution (1848) which forced his resignation.
468 Saint Hilary b. ???? religious leader, 46th Pope (461-468).