Today in history: February 29th

February 29, 2008 5:30:44 AM PST
Today is Friday, February 29th, the 60th day of 2008. There are 306 days left in the year. This is Leap Day. Today's Highlight in History:

On February 29th, 1968, President Lyndon B. 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."

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 1792, composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini was born in Pesaro, Italy.

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

In 1908, the artist known as Balthus was born in Paris.

In 1940, "Gone with the Wind" won eight Academy Awards, including best picture of 1939.

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

In 1960, the first Playboy Club, featuring waitresses clad in "bunny" outfits, opened in Chicago.

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

In 1968, at the Grammy Awards, the 5th 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 1984, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau announced he was stepping down after more than 15 combined years in power.

Twelve years ago: 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, North Carolina, of murdering James R. Jordan, the father of basketball star Michael Jordan, during a 1993 roadside holdup. (Green and an accomplice, Larry Martin Demery, were sentenced to life in prison.) A Peruvian commercial jetliner crashed in the Andes, killing all 123 people on board.

Eight years ago: 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, Michigan. Sparky Anderson was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee along with Turkey Stearnes of the Negro leagues and 19th-century second baseman Bid McPhee.

Four years ago: Facing rebellion, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (zhahn behr-TRAHN' ahr-ihs-TEED') resigned and left for exile in the Central African Republic. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" won a record-tying 11 Academy Awards, including best picture; Sean Penn took the best-actor prize for "Mystic River" and Charlize Theron won best actress for "Monster." Playwright Jerome Lawrence died in Malibu, California, at age 88.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Michele Morgan is 88. Actor James Mitchell is 88. Actor Joss Ackland is 80. Actor Alex Rocco is 72. Former space shuttle astronaut Jack Lousma is 72. Actor Dennis Farina is 64. Actress Phyllis Frelich is 64. Actor Antonio Sabato Junior is 36. Rapper Ja Rule is 32.


Load Comments