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UPI Almanac for Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024

On Feb. 29, 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.

By United Press International
Peter Jackson, the director of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," hams it up for photographers as he arrives for the 76th Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre, February 29, 2004, in Los Angeles. "The Lord of the Rings" The Return of the King" won 11 Oscars Sunday night, tying with "Titanic" and Ben Hur" for the most Oscars ever won by a single film. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 2 | Peter Jackson, the director of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," hams it up for photographers as he arrives for the 76th Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre, February 29, 2004, in Los Angeles. "The Lord of the Rings" The Return of the King" won 11 Oscars Sunday night, tying with "Titanic" and Ben Hur" for the most Oscars ever won by a single film. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Today is Thursday, Feb. 29, the 60th day of 2024 with 306 to follow.

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

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The moon is waning. Morning stars are Mars and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter and Uranus.


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; actor Joss Ackland in 1928; astronaut Jack Lousma in 1936 (age 88); actor Dennis Farina in 1944; serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 1956; motivational speaker Tony Robbins in 1960 (age 64); actor Antonio Sabato Jr. in 1972 (age 52); Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in 1972 (age 52); rapper Ja Rule, born Jeffrey Atkins, in 1976 (age 48); actor Peter Scanavino in 1980 (age 44); actor Rakhee Thakrar in 1984 (age 40); rock musician Mark Foster in 1984 (age 40); actor Jessie Usher in 1992 (age 32).

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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, 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.

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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 1996, the Serbs lifted their siege on the city of Sarajevo, Bosnia, after 1,425 days as part of the Bosnian War. It was the longest siege of a capital city in the modern era.

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-tying 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.

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In 2020, U.S. and Taliban negotiators signed a historic peace deal to end nearly two decades of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. The United States removed its last troops in August 2021, a major factor in the Taliban's capture of Kabul.


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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