Today is Monday, Feb. 29, the 60th day of 2016 with 306 to follow.
This is Leap Year Day, which occurs only once every four years.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Mercury and Venus. Evening stars are Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include British religious leader Ann Lee, founder of the American Shaker sect, in 1736; operatic composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini in 1792; American inventor John Holland, who pioneered the modern submarine, in 1840; film director William Wellman (Wings, The Ox Bow Incident) in 1896; big band leader Jimmy Dorsey in 1904; singer Dinah Shore in 1916; astronaut Jack Lousma in 1936 (age 80); actors Dennis Farina in 1944 (died 2013) and Antonio Sabato Jr. in 1972 (age 44); motivational speaker Tony Robbins in 1960 (age 56); and rapper Ja Rule in 1976 (age 40).
On this date in history:
In 1704, in the bloodiest event of the so-called Queen Anne's War, Deerfield, a frontier settlement in western Massachusetts, was attacked by a French and indian force. Some 100 men, women and children were massacred as the town was burned to the ground.
In 1868, British statesman Benjamin Disraeli became prime minister for the first time.
In 1916, during World War I, German U-boat commanders were ordered to attack merchant shipping in the Atlantic without warning, a policy that killed thousands and helped draw the United States into the war.
In 1940, the legendary Southern epic Gone With The Wind won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. But, the most momentous award that night went to the movie's Best Supporting Actress winner Hattie McDaniel, first African-American actor honored with an Oscar.
In 1956, almost nine years after becoming an independent nation, Pakistan declared itself an Islamic republic.
In 1968, the President's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders condemned racism as the primary cause of the recent surge of riots. The commission said in its Feb. 29, 1968, report that "our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal."
In 1968, British astronomer Jocelyn Burnell announced the discovery of a pulsating radio source, or "pulsar," in the depths of outer space. She first dubbed it "LGM," short for "little green men." Astrophysicists say pulsars to be rapidly rotating neutron stars.
In 1988, police arrested Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu as he and others marched on Parliament to protest the government's ban on anti-apartheid activities.
In 2000, President George W. Bush, after losing to John McCain in Arizona and Michigan, won the important Virginia Republican primary and declared he had "taken a step" toward the White House.
In 2004, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned and fled the country as rebel forces massed on the outskirts of the capital. U.S. President George Bush ordered Marines into Haiti after the ouster.
Also in 2004, the Iraqi Governing Council finished a draft constitution for final approval by the U.S. administrator.
And, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, the finale of the epic fantasy trilogy, won all 11 Academy Awards for which it was nominated, including best picture and director, a record sweep.
In 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush dismissed widely feared speculation the nation was headed into a recession, saying his recent economic stimulus package would help the nation cope with a slowdown.
Also in 2008, Deputy Israeli Defense Minister Matan Vilnai threatened a "holocaust" in the Gaza Strip if Palestinian rocket fire continued.
In 2012, the Syrian Army drove insurgents from the Free Syrian Army out of the Bab Amr neighborhood in the city of Homs. Thousands of innocent civilians have died in the past 11 months in the government's crackdown on opposition activists, the United Nations said.
A thought for the day: In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll wrote: "Curtsy while you're thinking of something to say. It saves time."