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February 29

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  • What happened on February 29
  • February 29 is the 60th day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar. There are 305 days remaining until the end of the year. It occurs every 29 days in February every 4 years. In other years it is 28 days.

 

  • Events on February 29
  • 1504 – Christopher Columbus uses his knowledge of a lunar eclipse that night to convince Native Americans to provide him with supplies.
  • 1644 – Abel Tasman’s second Pacific voyage began.
  • 1704 – Queen Anne’s War: French forces and Native Americans stage a raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts Bay Colony, killing 56 villagers and taking more than 100 captive.
  • 1712 – February 29 is followed by February 30 in Sweden, in a move to abolish the Swedish calendar for a return to the Julian calendar.
  • 1720 – Ulrika Eleonora, Queen of Sweden abdicates in favour of her husband, who becomes King Frederick I on 24 March.
  • 1752 – King Alaungpaya founds Konbaung Dynasty, the last dynasty of Burmese monarchy.
  • 1768 – Polish nobles formed Bar Confederation.
  • 1796 – The Jay Treaty between the United States and Great Britain comes into force, facilitating ten years of peaceful trade between the two nations.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Kilpatrick–Dahlgren Raid fails: Plans to free 15,000 Union soldiers being held near Richmond, Virginia are thwarted.
  • 1892 – St. Petersburg, Florida is incorporated.
  • 1912 – The Piedra Movediza (Moving Stone) of Tandil falls and breaks.
  • 1916 – Tokelau is annexed by the United Kingdom.
  • 1916 – Child labor: In South Carolina, the minimum working age for factory, mill, and mine workers is raised from twelve to fourteen years old.
  • 1920 – Czechoslovak National assembly adopted the Constitution.
  • 1936 – February 26 Incident in Tokyo ends.
  • 1940 – For her performance as “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind, Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award.
  • 1940 – Finland initiates Winter War peace negotiations.
  • 1940 – In a ceremony held in Berkeley, California, because of the war, physicist Ernest Lawrence receives the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics from Sweden’s Consul General in San Francisco.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Admiralty Islands are invaded in Operation Brewer led by American General Douglas MacArthur.
  • 1952 – The island of Heligoland is restored to German authority.
  • 1960 – The 5.7 Mw Agadir earthquake shakes coastal Morocco with a maximum perceived intensity of X (Extreme), destroying Agadir, and leaving 12,000 dead and another 12,000 injured.
  • 1964 – In Sydney, Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser sets a new world record in the 100-meter freestyle swimming competition (58.9 seconds).
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization: South Korea withdraws 11,000 of its 48,000 troops from Vietnam.
  • 1980 – Gordie Howe of the then Hartford Whalers makes NHL history as he scores his 800th goal.
  • 1988 – South African archbishop Desmond Tutu is arrested along with 100 clergymen during a five-day anti-apartheid demonstration in Cape Town.
  • 1988 – Svend Robinson becomes the first member of the Canadian House of Commons to come out as gay.
  • 1992 – First day of Bosnia and Herzegovina independence referendum.
  • 1996 – Faucett Flight 251 crashes in the Andes, all 123 passengers and crew died.
  • 1996 – Siege of Sarajevo officially ends.
  • 2000 – Second Chechen War: Eighty-four Russian paratroopers are killed in a rebel attack on a guard post near Ulus Kert.
  • 2004 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide is removed as President of Haiti following a coup.
  • 2008 – The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence decides to withdraw Prince Harry from a tour of Afghanistan “immediately” after a leak led to his deployment being reported by foreign media.
  • 2008 – Misha Defonseca admits to fabricating her memoir, Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, in which she claimed to have lived with a pack of wolves in the woods during the Holocaust.
  • 2012 – Tokyo Skytree construction completed. It is, as of 2017, the tallest tower in the world, 634 meters high, and second tallest (man-made) structure on Earth, next to Burj Khalifa.

 

 

 

  • Births on February 29
  • 1468 – Pope Paul III (d. 1549)
  • 1576 – Antonio Neri, Florentine priest and glassmaker (d. 1614)
  • 1640 – Benjamin Keach A Particular Baptist preacher and author whose name was given to Keach’s Catechism
  • 1692 – John Byrom, English poet and educator (d. 1763)
  • 1724 – Eva Marie Veigel, Austrian-English dancer (d. 1822)
  • 1736 – Ann Lee, English-American religious leader, founded the Shakers (d. 1784)
  • 1792 – Gioachino Rossini, Italian pianist and composer (d. 1868)
  • 1812 – James Milne Wilson, Scottish-Australian soldier and politician, 8th Premier of Tasmania (d. 1880)
  • 1828 – Emmeline B. Wells, American journalist, poet, and activist (d. 1921)
  • 1836 – Dickey Pearce, American baseball player and manager (d. 1908)
  • 1852 – Frank Gavan Duffy, Irish-Australian lawyer and judge, 4th Chief Justice of Australia (d. 1936)
  • 1860 – Herman Hollerith, American statistician and businessman, co-founded the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (d. 1929)
  • 1884 – Richard S. Aldrich, American lawyer and politician (d. 1941)
  • 1892 – Augusta Savage, American sculptor (d. 1962)
  • 1896 – Morarji Desai, Indian civil servant and politician, 4th Prime Minister of India (d. 1995)
  • 1896 – William A. Wellman, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1975)
  • 1904 – Rukmini Devi Arundale, Indian dancer and choreographer (d. 1986)
  • 1904 – Jimmy Dorsey, American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader (d. 1957)
  • 1904 – Pepper Martin, American baseball player and manager (d. 1965)
  • 1908 – Balthus, French-Swiss painter and illustrator (d. 2001)
  • 1908 – Dee Brown, American historian and author (d. 2002)
  • 1908 – Alf Gover, English cricketer and coach (d. 2001)
  • 1908 – Louie Myfanwy Thomas, Welsh writer (d. 1968)
  • 1916 – Dinah Shore, American singer and actress (d. 1994)
  • 1916 – James B. Donovan, American lawyer (d. 1970)
  • 1916 – Leonard Shoen, founder of U-Haul Corp. (d. 1999)
  • 1920 – Fyodor Abramov, Russian author and critic (d. 1983)
  • 1920 – Arthur Franz, American actor (d. 2006)
  • 1920 – James Mitchell, American actor and dancer (d. 2010)
  • 1920 – Michèle Morgan, French-American actress and singer (d. 2016)
  • 1920 – Howard Nemerov, American poet and academic (d. 1991)
  • 1920 – Rolland W. Redlin, American lawyer and politician (d. 2011)
  • 1924 – David Beattie, New Zealand judge and politician, 14th Governor-General of New Zealand (d. 2001)
  • 1924 – Carlos Humberto Romero, Salvadoran politician, President of El Salvador
  • 1924 – Al Rosen, American baseball player and manager (d. 2015)
  • 1928 – Joss Ackland, English actor
  • 1928 – Vance Haynes, American archaeologist, geologist, and author
  • 1928 – Seymour Papert, South African mathematician and computer scientist, co-created the Logo programming language (d. 2016)
  • 1932 – Jaguar, Brazilian cartoonist
  • 1932 – Gene H. Golub, American mathematician and academic (d. 2007)
  • 1932 – Masten Gregory, American race car driver (d. 1985)
  • 1932 – Reri Grist, American soprano and actress
  • 1936 – Jack R. Lousma, American colonel, astronaut, and politician
  • 1936 – Henri Richard, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1936 – Alex Rocco, American actor (d. 2015)
  • 1940 – Bartholomew I of Constantinople
  • 1940 – William H. Turner, Jr. American horse trainer
  • 1944 – Ene Ergma, Estonian physicist and politician
  • 1944 – Dennis Farina, American police officer and actor (d. 2013)
  • 1944 – Nicholas Frayling, English priest and academic
  • 1944 – Phyllis Frelich, American actress (d. 2014)
  • 1944 – Steve Mingori, American baseball player (d. 2008)
  • 1944 – Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri, Italian author and illustrator
  • 1948 – Hermione Lee, English author, critic, and academic
  • 1948 – Patricia A. McKillip, American author
  • 1948 – Henry Small, American-born Canadian singer
  • 1952 – Sharon Dahlonega Raiford Bush, American journalist and producer
  • 1952 – Tim Powers, American author and educator
  • 1952 – Raisa Smetanina, Russian cross-country skier
  • 1952 – Bart Stupak, American police officer and politician
  • 1956 – Jonathan Coleman, English-Australian radio and television host
  • 1956 – Bob Speller, Canadian businessman and politician, 30th Canadian Minister of Agriculture
  • 1956 – Aileen Wuornos, American serial killer (d. 2002)
  • 1960 – Khaled, Algerian singer-songwriter
  • 1960 – Lucian Grainge, English businessman
  • 1960 – Richard Ramirez, American serial killer (d. 2013)
  • 1960 – Tony Robbins, American motivational speaker and author
  • 1964 – Dave Brailsford, English cyclist and coach
  • 1964 – Lyndon Byers, Canadian ice hockey player and radio host
  • 1964 – Mervyn Warren, American tenor, composer, and producer
  • 1968 – Suanne Braun, South African-English actress
  • 1968 – Chucky Brown, American basketball player and coach
  • 1968 – Pete Fenson, American curler and sportscaster
  • 1968 – Naoko Iijima, Japanese actress and model
  • 1968 – Bryce Paup, American football player and coach
  • 1968 – Howard Tayler, American author and illustrator
  • 1968 – Eugene Volokh, Ukrainian-American lawyer and educator
  • 1968 – Frank Woodley, Australian actor, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1972 – Mike Pollitt, English footballer and coach
  • 1972 – Antonio Sabàto, Jr., Italian-American model and actor
  • 1972 – Pedro Sánchez, Spanish politician
  • 1972 – Dave Williams, American singer (d. 2002)
  • 1972 – Saul Williams, American singer-songwriter
  • 1972 – Pedro Zamora, Cuban-American activist and educator (d. 1994)
  • 1976 – Zoë Baker, English-New Zealand swimmer and coach
  • 1976 – Terrence Long, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Ja Rule, American rapper and actor
  • 1980 – Çağdaş Atan, Turkish footballer
  • 1980 – Chris Conley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1980 – Patrick Côté, Canadian mixed martial artist
  • 1980 – Simon Gagné, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1980 – Rubén Plaza, Spanish cyclist
  • 1980 – Clinton Toopi, New Zealand rugby player
  • 1980 – Taylor Twellman, American soccer player and sportscaster
  • 1984 – Darren Ambrose, English footballer
  • 1984 – Megan Bernard, Australian audio artist
  • 1984 – Mark Foster, American musician (Foster the People)
  • 1984 – Rica Imai, Japanese model and actress
  • 1984 – Cullen Jones, American swimmer
  • 1984 – Nuria Martínez, Spanish basketball player
  • 1984 – Adam Sinclair, Indian field hockey player
  • 1984 – Rakhee Thakrar, English actress
  • 1984 – Dennis Walger, German rugby player
  • 1984 – Cam Ward, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1988 – Lena Gercke, German model and television host
  • 1988 – Scott Golbourne, English footballer
  • 1988 – Benedikt Höwedes, German footballer
  • 1988 – Brent Macaffer, Australian Rules footballer
  • 1988 – Bobby Sanguinetti, American ice hockey player
  • 1992 – Sean Abbott, Australian cricketer
  • 1992 – Perry Kitchen, American soccer player
  • 1992 – Caitlin EJ Meyer, American actress
  • 1992 – Saphir Taïder, French-Algerian footballer
  • 1996 – Claudia Williams, New Zealand tennis player

 

 

 

  • Deaths on February 29
  • 992 – Oswald of Worcester, French archbishop and saint (b. 925)
  • 1212 – Hōnen, Japanese monk, founded Jōdo-shū (b. 1133)
  • 1528 – Patrick Hamilton, Scottish martyr and reformer (b. 1504)
  • 1592 – Alessandro Striggio, Italian composer and diplomat (b. 1540)
  • 1600 – Caspar Hennenberger, German pastor, historian, and cartographer (b. 1529)
  • 1604 – John Whitgift, English archbishop and academic (b. 1530)
  • 1740 – Pietro Ottoboni, Italian cardinal (b. 1667)
  • 1744 – John Theophilus Desaguliers, French-English physicist and philosopher (b. 1683)
  • 1792 – Johann Andreas Stein, German piano builder (b. 1728)
  • 1820 – Johann Joachim Eschenburg, German historian and critic (b. 1743)
  • 1848 – Louis-François Lejeune, French general, painter, and lithographer (b. 1775)
  • 1852 – Matsudaira Katataka, Japanese daimyo (b. 1806)
  • 1868 – Ludwig I of Bavaria (b. 1786)
  • 1880 – James Milne Wilson, Scottish-Australian soldier and politician, 8th Premier of Tasmania (b. 1812)
  • 1908 – Pat Garrett, American sheriff (b. 1850)
  • 1908 – John Hope, 1st Marquess of Linlithgow, Scottish-Australian politician, 1st Governor-General of Australia (b. 1860)
  • 1920 – Ernie Courtney, American baseball player (b. 1875)
  • 1928 – Adolphe Appia, Swiss architect and theorist (b. 1862)
  • 1928 – Ina Coolbrith, American poet and librarian (b. 1841)
  • 1940 – E. F. Benson, English archaeologist and author (b. 1867)
  • 1944 – Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, Finnish lawyer, judge, and politician, 3rd President of Finland (b. 1861)
  • 1948 – Robert Barrington-Ward, English lawyer and journalist (b. 1891)
  • 1948 – Rebel Oakes, American baseball player and manager (b. 1883)
  • 1952 – Quo Tai-chi, Chinese politician and diplomat, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations (b. 1888)
  • 1956 – Elpidio Quirino, Filipino lawyer and politician, 6th President of the Philippines (b. 1890)
  • 1960 – Melvin Purvis, American police officer and FBI agent (b. 1903)
  • 1960 – Walter Yust, American journalist and author (b. 1894)
  • 1964 – Frank Albertson, American actor and singer (b. 1909)
  • 1968 – Lena Blackburne, American baseball player, coach, and manager (b. 1886)
  • 1968 – Tore Ørjasæter, Norwegian poet and educator (b. 1886)
  • 1972 – Tom Davies, American football player and coach (b. 1896)
  • 1976 – Florence P. Dwyer, American politician (b. 1902)
  • 1980 – Yigal Allon, Israeli general and politician, Prime Minister of Israel (b. 1918)
  • 1980 – Gil Elvgren, American painter and illustrator (b. 1914)
  • 1984 – Ludwik Starski, Polish screenwriter and songwriter (b. 1903)
  • 1988 – Sidney Harmon, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1907)
  • 1992 – Ruth Pitter, English poet and author (b. 1897)
  • 1996 – Wes Farrell, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1939)
  • 1996 – Ralph Rowe, American baseball player, coach, and manager (b. 1924)
  • 2000 – Dennis Danell, American guitarist (b. 1961)
  • 2004 – Kagamisato Kiyoji, Japanese sumo wrestler, the 42nd Yokozuna (b. 1923)
  • 2004 – Jerome Lawrence, American playwright and author (b. 1915)
  • 2004 – Harold Bernard St. John, Barbadian lawyer and politician, 3rd Prime Minister of Barbados (b. 1931)
  • 2004 – Lorrie Wilmot, South African cricketer (b. 1943)
  • 2008 – Janet Kagan, American author (b. 1946)
  • 2008 – Erik Ortvad, Danish painter and illustrator (b. 1917)
  • 2008 – Akira Yamada, Japanese scholar and philosopher (b. 1922)
  • 2012 – Roland Bautista, American guitarist (b. 1951)
  • 2012 – Davy Jones, English singer, guitarist, and actor (b. 1945)
  • 2012 – Sheldon Moldoff, American illustrator (b. 1920)
  • 2012 – P. K. Narayana Panicker, Indian social leader (b. 1930)
  • 2016 – Wenn V. Deramas, Filipino director and screenwriter (b. 1968)
  • 2016 – Gil Hill, American police officer, actor, and politician (b. 1931)
  • 2016 – Josefin Nilsson, Swedish singer (b. 1969)
  • 2016 – Louise Rennison, English author (b. 1951)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Holidays and observances on February 29
  • Christian feast day:
    • Auguste Chapdelaine (one of Martyr Saints of China)
    • Oswald of Worcester (in leap year only)
    • February 29 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
    • Saint John Cassian
  • The fourth day of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá’í Faith) (Please note that this observance is only locked into this date the Gregorian calendar on this date if Bahá’í Naw-Rúztakes place on March 21, which it doesn’t in all years)
  • Rare Disease Day (in leap years, otherwise is February 28th)
  • Bachelor’s Day (Ireland, United Kingdom)
  • In Discordianism, February 29 is coterminus with St. Tibs’ day in the Discordian calendar
February 29

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