Today in History: February 29

Today in History: February 29

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0045

The first Leap Day is recognized by proclamation of Julius Caesar. Under the old Roman calendar, the last day of February was the last day of the year.

1692

Sarah Goode and Tituba are accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, sparking the hysteria that started the Salem Witch Trials.

1784

The Marquis de Sade is transferred from Vincennes fortress to the Bastille.

1856

Hostilities in Russo-Turkish War cease.

1864

Union Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick splits his forces at the Rapidan River ordering Col. Ulric Dahlgren to lead 500 men his men to Goochland Court House, while the remainder followed Kilpatrick in his raid on Richmond.

1864

Lt. William B. Cushing leads a landing party from the USS Monticello to Smithville, NC, in an attempt to capture Confederate Brig. Gen. Louis Hebert, only to discover that Hebert and his men had already moved on Wilmington.

1868

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli forms his first cabinet.

1940

Hattie McDaniel is first African American to win an Academy Award--best supporting actress--for her performance in Gone With The Wind.

1944

Dorothy Vredenburgh accepts an appointment by the Democratic National Committee becoming the first woman secretary of a national political party in the U.S.

1944

US forces catch Japanese troops off-guard and easily take control of the Admiralty Islands in Papua New Guinea.

1952

The first pedestrian "Walk/Don't Walk" signs are installed at 44th Street and Broadway at Times Square.

1956

President Dwight D. Eisenhower announces he will seek second term.

1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson reveals the U.S. secretly developed the Lockheed A-11 jet fighter.

1968

The Beatles win a Grammy Award for their album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

1968

Jocelyn Burnell, of Cambridge University, discovers first pulsar.

1972

Henry "Hank" Aaron becomes first baseball player to sign a baseball contract for $200,000 a year.

1988

A Nazi document is discovered that implicates participation of Austrian president and former U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim in WWII deportations.