As you know, leap year occurs every four years. It is necessary in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year. We have compiled a list of interesting facts about Leap Year traditions, events and other tidbits.
Leap Year Events (not all leap years are listed because lets face it, not everything is that interesting):
- 1504 – Christopher Columbus convinced used his knowledge of a lunar eclipse occurring on leap year to convince the native he had magical powers to predict or control the future and in turn convince them to provide him with supplies.
- 1692 – Sarah Good & Tituba, an Indian servant, accused of being witches in Salem, MA
- 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. Gone with the Wind wins a total of 8 Oscars.
- 1956 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower announces to the nation that he is running for a second term.
- 1960 – The first Playboy club to feature Playboy Bunny waitresses opens in Chicago.
- 1968 – The Beatles St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band wins a Grammy Award.
- 1972 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization – South Korea withdraws 11,000 of its 48,000 troops from Vietnam.
- 1972 – Hank Aaron becomes the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to sign a $200,000 contract.
- 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, South Africa.
- 2004 – Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King wins all 11 Oscars for which is was nominated.
5 Fun Leap Year Facts
- People who are born on Leap Year are called leapers or leaplings.
- If you are born on Leap Year, you are automatically invited to be a member of The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies.
- In Scotland it is considered bad luck to be born on Leap Year
- In Greece it is bad luck to marry on February 29th.
- Leap Year was named after an Archbishop Oswald of York who died on February 29, 992. It is also referred to as St. Oswald’s Day.
Leap Year’s Greatest Tradition
An old Irish legend that has been widely adopted throughout time says that Leap Year is the one day when a woman can propose marriage to a man. This was the premise of the 2010 movie Leap Year. By the way, ladies, if he refuses the proposal he must give you an expensive gift.
So there you have it. If you are born on a leap year or know someone who is, let us know and we will wish them a happy leap year birthday on February 29th, 2012.