UPI Almanac for Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020

On Feb. 29, 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award -- for her role in "Gone With the Wind."

By United Press International
UPI Almanac for Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020
Stamps and memorabilia are for sale at the dedication of a new 39-cent commemorative stamp honoring actress Hattie McDaniel held at the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study in Beverly Hills, Calif., on January 25, 2006. On February 29, 1940, McDaniel became the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award -- for her role in Gone With the Wind. The movie won eight awards that night. File Photo by Phil McCarten/UPI | License Photo

Today is Saturday, Feb. 29, the 60th day of 2020 with 306 to follow.

This is Leap Year Day, which occurs only once every four years.


The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. Evening stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Venus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Pope Paul III in 1468; 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 in 1896; big band leader Jimmy Dorsey in 1904; singer Dinah Shore in 1916; astronaut Jack Lousma in 1936 (age 84); actor Dennis Farina in 1944; serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 1956; motivational speaker Tony Robbins in 1960 (age 60); actor Antonio Sabato Jr. in 1972 (age 48); rapper Ja Rule, born Jeffrey Atkins, in 1976 (age 44); actor Peter Scanavino in 1980 (age 40); rock musician Mark Foster in 1984 (age 36); actor Jessie Usher in 1992 (age 28).

RELATED UPI Archives: Hattie McDaniel honored with postage stamp

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.

RELATED UPI Archives: Festival to honor Hattie McDaniel

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, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award -- for her role in Gone With the Wind. The movie won eight awards that night.

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 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.

In 2004, 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 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.

In 2016, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., became the first sitting senator to endorse Donald Trump as president. Trump rewarded Sessions with the Cabinet position of attorney general after he was elected.


A thought for the day: "It's all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all." -- French-Cuban-American writer Anaïs Nin

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