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Sunday, February 29, 2004


Today is Sunday, Feb. 29th.

The 60th day of 2004.

There are 306 days left in the year.

This is Leap Day.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 29, 1940, "Gone with the Wind" won eight Academy Awards, including best picture of 1939. Victor Fleming was named best director, Vivien Leigh best actress, and Hattie McDaniel best supporting actress, the first black performer to receive an Oscar. Best actor went to Robert Donat for "Goodbye, Mr. Chips."


On this date:

In 1504, Christopher Columbus, stranded in Jamaica during his fourth voyage to the West, used a correctly predicted lunar eclipse to frighten hostile natives into providing food for his crew.

In 1692, The Salem witch trials begin when Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba are accused of using witchcraft.

In 1792, composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini was born in Pesaro, Italy.

In 1860, Herman Hollerith invents the first electric tabulating machine

In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed a seven-member commission to facilitate completion of the Panama Canal.

In 1904, bandleader Jimmy Dorsey was born in Shenandoah, Pa.

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act. The new act rewards farmers for growing soil-enhancing crops.

In 1952, In Times Square, NYC, four electronic signs are installed at 44th Street and Broadway to tell pedestrians when to “walk.”

In 1956, President Eisenhower announced he would seek a second term of office.

In 1960, The first Playboy Club, featuring bunnies, opens in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1960, An earthquake hits Agadir, Morocco, killing 12,000 people. It is the worst earthquake recorded in Africa to date.

In 1968, the discovery of the first "pulsar," a star which emits regular radio waves, was announced by Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell at Cambridge, England.

In 1968, President Johnson's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (also known as the Kerner Commission) warned that racism was causing America to move "toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal."

In 1968, at the Grammy Awards, the Fifth Dimension's "Up, Up and Away" won record of the year for 1967, while album of the year honors went to the Beatles for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

In 1972, Hank Aaron becomes the first baseball player to sign a deal worth $200,00 a year.

In 1980, former Israeli foreign minister Yigal Allon, who had played an important role in the Jewish state's fight for independence, died at age 61.

In 1984, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau announced he was stepping down after more than 15 years in power.

Twelve years ago (1992):

Muslims and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina began casting ballots in an independence referendum; Serbs boycotted the vote, calling it illegal.

Eight years ago (1996):

About 30 television and entertainment industry executives met with President Clinton at the White House, where they promised to devise a TV ratings system.

Daniel Green was convicted in Lumberton, N.C., of murdering James R. Jordan, the father of basketball star Michael Jordan, during a 1993 roadside holdup. (Green was sentenced to life in prison.)

A Peruvian commercial jetliner crashed in the Andes, killing all 123 people on board.

Four years ago (2000):

George W. Bush won Republican presidential primaries in Virginia, Washington state and North Dakota, defeating John McCain; Vice President Al Gore crushed fellow Democrat Bill Bradley in Washington state.

Six-year-old Kayla Rolland was fatally shot by a fellow first-grader at Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township, Mich.

Puff Daddy plead not guilty to charges that he had attempted to bribe a professional driver to take responsibility for a 9mm handgun that had been found in a vehicle with Puff Daddy following a shooting in 1999.

The city of Autlan de Navarro, Mexico announced plans to build a public monument to tribute Carlos Santana.

Sparky Anderson was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame along with Turkey Stearnes of the Negro leagues and 19th-century second baseman Bid McPhee.


Today's Birthdays:

Actress Michele Morgan is 84.

Actor Arthur Franz is 84.

Actor James Mitchell is 84.

Actor Joss Ackland is 76.

Actor Alex Rocco is 68.

Former space shuttle astronaut Jack Lousma is 68.

Actor Dennis Farina is 60.

Actress Phyllis Frelich is 60.

Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. is 32.

Rapper Ja Rule is 28.


Thought for Today:

"There are many fine things which you mean to do someday, under what you think will be more favorable circumstances. But the only time that is yours is the present." -

- Grenville Kleiser, American author (1868-1953).


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