February 29, 2016
Happy February 29th everyone! As a tribute to the wonderful phenomenon that is the Leap Year, we’ve put together a happy timeline of some of the most notable things that happened every four years this day, a few hundred years ago.
1504: Also known as the first recorded event of interest happening today – Explorer of the New World Christopher Columbus uses a lunar eclipse to frighten Native Americans into providing him with supplies.
1692: The first arrests on women were made in the Salem witch trials, seeing the persecution of Sarah Good, a homeless woman; Sarah Osbourne, a widow; and Tituba, a West Indian slave – who actually confessed to witchcraft.
1712: Sweden introduces February 30 (whaa?), in an attempt to abolish the Swedish calendar and return to the Old Style calendar. Guess that didn’t work out so well; the Swedes finally conceded and converted to the Gregorian calendar, used today, in 1753.
1908: Dutch scientists produce solid helium. Funky.
1940: It’s a big year at the 12th Academy Awards – Gone With The Wind sweeps a whopping eight Oscars, including Best Supporting Actress by Hattie McDaniel, making her the first ever African American to win an Oscar.
1960: Hugh Hefner opens the first Playboy Club in Chicago, Illinois, complete with his iconic Bunny waitresses.
1972: Hank Aaron becomes the first baseball player to sign for $200,000 a year. That comes up to roughly US$2,527,900 today, ladies and gents.
2008: The United Kingdom’s military withdraws Prince Harry from Operation Herrick, the British War in Afghanistan, immediately – after news of his undisclosed deployment leaked out in foreign media.
2016: And of course, this year’s Feb 29 marks an incredible milestone for humanity as well. Hollywood darling Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins an Oscar!