Edited by Gerald Boerner


Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThis day, February 29th, has witnessed many significant events even though is occurs only once every four years. Several important political events have transpired on this day, including the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 17943 to end the resolve outstanding issues with Britain; this treaty was negotiated by a team led by John Jay who would go on to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Also on this day, in 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed a committee to study the building of the Panama Canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Isthmus of Panama. During the 1960 Presidential Election campaign, Senator John F. Kennedy on this day in 1960 made the “Missile Gap” a campaign issue with the sitting Vice President, Richard Nixon.


This was also a day that saw Charles Darwin and the crew of the HMS Beagle in Bahia, Brazil; Darwin would continue exploring the flora and fauna of the nearby jungles. These observations were added to those taken on the Galápagos Islands and helped Darwin form his theory of evolution.

Also on this day in 1940, entertainment history was made. At the Academy Awards ceremony, not only would Gone with the Wind be honored as the Best Picture of the Year, and several of its stars earning their own Oscars, this night would witness the first Oscar awarded to an African American actress, Hattie McDaniel for her performance as the housemaid Mammy; Hattie and her escort were seated at a segregated table in the back of the room. Segregation was still alive and well at this late date!

Even in Major League Baseball there existed prejudice against the African Americans. On this day in 1972, Slugger Henry “Hank” Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record. As he approached this record, Aaron was the recipient of numerous death threats at the thought of a Black player eclipsing the feat performed by the iconic star, Babe Ruth. He was not attacked after breaking this record, fortunately.

We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1160 Words ]


Quotations Related to Charles Darwin:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/c/charles_darwin.html ]


“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
— Charles Darwin

“A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections – a mere heart of stone.”
— Charles Darwin

“I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions.”
— Charles Darwin

“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world.”
— Charles Darwin

“I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.”
— Charles Darwin

“I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.”
— Charles Darwin


Notable Events of the Day: February 29th…


Noteworthy Events on this Day:

  • In 1504…
    Columbus uses a lunar eclipse to frighten hostile Jamaican Indians.

  • In 1784…
    Marquis de Sade transferred from Vincennes fortress to the Bastille. He was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher, and writer famous for his libertine sexuality and lifestyle. He is best known for his erotic works.

  • In 1796…
    Jay’s Treaty proclaimed, settles some differences with England. Jay was a minister (ambassador) to Spain and France, helping to fashion United States foreign policy, and to secure favorable peace terms from Great Britain (with Jay’s Treaty of 1794) and the First French Republic.

  • In 1832…
    Charles Darwin visits jungle near Bahia Brazil. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell’s uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.

  • In 1904…
    Theodore Roosevelt, appoints 7 man committee to study Panama Canal. Roosevelt felt that a passage through the Isthmus of Panama was vital to protect American interests and to create a strong and cohesive United States Navy. The resulting Panama Canal was completed in 1914 and revolutionized world travel and commerce.

  • In 1940…
    ‘Gone with the Wind’ wins 8 Oscars. It was a 1939 American historical epic film adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel of the same name. It was produced by David O. Selznick and started Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Hattie McDaniel.

  • In 1940…
    Hattie McDaniel is the first African American to win an Academy Award, taking home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as housemaid Mammy in Gone With the Wind. The film wins eight Oscars in total, including Best Picture. Nevertheless, McDaniel and her escort are seated at a segregated table in the back of the room during the ceremony.

  • In 1944…
    Dorothy Vredenburgh is elected secretary of the Democratic National Committee, becoming the first woman to hold such a post for a national political party. She would serve as secretary for 12 DNC conventions, from the 1944 Roosevelt-Truman ticket through the 1988 Dukakis-Bentsen ticket.

  • In 1960…
    JFK makes "missile gap" the presidential campaign issue. He made the perceived disparity between the number and power of the weapons in the U.S.S.R. and U.S. ballistic missile arsenals during the Cold War a way of differentiating himself from the then Vice President Richard Nixon.

  • In 1960…
    The first Playboy Club opens in Chicago, famously featuring Hugh Hefner’s scantily clad Playboy Bunnies.

  • In 1968…
    Beatles’ "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" wins Grammy. The film is presented in a form similar to that of a rock opera with the Beatles’ songs providing "dialogue" to carry the story.

  • In 1972…
    Hank Aaron becomes 1st baseball player to sign for $200,000 a year. He would go on to break Babe Ruth’s lifetime home run record in 1975. He would hit a total of 715 home runs during his 23 seasons in the major leagues, most of which were with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.

  • In 2004…
    Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigns as President of Haiti following popular rebel uprising.

  • In 2004…
    76th Academy Awards Oscar Ceremony, Billy Crystal hosts, Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King sweeps all eleven nominations, including Best Picture, Sean Penn and Charlize Theron win lead acting awards.


Vin Scully’s Cal of Hank Aaron’s 715th Home Run… (5:16)





Previously Posted Topics:

Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: 1960 Presidential Debates — Kennedy vs. Nixon on TV…

Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Henry Aaron: Breaks Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record…

Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Treaty of Paris (1783) — End of Revolutionary War…

Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Charles Darwin: Voyage of the Beagle Begins in 1831…

Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Theodore Roosevelt: The Opening of the Panama Canal…