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.
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Leap Day: Facts, Figures, Birthdays and Famous Events
1856 Hostilities in Russo-Turkish War cease.
1944 US troops land on Los Negros, Admirality Islands.
1960 Earthquake kills 1/3 of Agadir Morocco population (12,000) in 15 seconds.
1996 A Peruvian commercial jetliner crashed in the Andes, killing all 123 people on board.
1904 Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenberdorft Sr near Hamburg, Germany; had a Christian name for every letter in the alphabet, shortened it to Mr Wolfe Plus 585 Sr.
1960, the first Playboy Club, featuring waitresses clad in “bunny” outfits, opened in Chicago.
1784 Marquis de Sade transferred from Vincennes fortress to the Bastille.
1964 Frank Rugani sets badminton shuttlecock distance record, 24.3 meters.
1988 NYC Mayor Koch calls Reagan a “WIMP” in the war on drugs.
1956 Islamic Republic established in Pakistan.
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.
1964 North Carolina high school basketball teams play to 56-54 score in 13 overtime.
1996 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.)
2000 Six-year-old Kayla Rolland was fatally shot by a fellow first-grader at Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township, Michigan.
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.”
1528 Patrick Hamilton Scottish protestant martyr, burned at stake.
1940 “Gone with the Wind” won eight Academy Awards, including best picture of 1939.
2000 “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.”
1968 the discovery of the first “pulsar,” a star which emits regular radio waves, was announced by Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell in Cambridge, England.
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.”
1984 Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau announced he was stepping down after more than 15 combined years in power.
2000 Facing rebellion, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned and left for exile in the Central African Republic.
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.
1908 The artist known as Balthus was born in Paris.
1936 Henri “Rocket” Richard NHL center (Montréal Canadiens).
1944 Dennis Farina Chicago IL, actor (Mike Torello-Crime Story).
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 Jr. is 36. Rapper Ja Rule is 32.
1992 Johnny Mack British actor (Time Lord-Dr Who), dies at 70.
2000 Playwright Jerome Lawrence died in Malibu, California, at age 88.