© 2023 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Wednesday February 29, 2012

Oscar Night 1940 - Hattie McDaniel (see highlighted story below)
Oscar Night 1940 - Hattie McDaniel (see highlighted story below)


  • 60th Day of 2012 / 306 Remaining
  • 20 Days Until Spring Begins
  • Sunrise:6:42
  • Sunset:6:03
  • 11 Hr 21 Min
  • Moon Rise:10:45am
  • Moon Set:12:47am
  • Moon’s Phase: First Quarter
  • The Next Full Moon
  • March 8 @ 1:41 am
  • Full Worm Moon
  • Full Sap Moon
  • Full Crust Moon
  • Lenten Moon

As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.

  • Tides
  • High:3:04am/5:50pm
  • Low:10:33am/10:07pm
  • Rainfall
  • This Year:6.90
  • Last Year:17.61
  • Normal To Date:16.96
  • Annual Average: 22.20
  • Holidays
  • Leap Year Day
  • National Surf and Turf Day
  • Bachelor's Day
  • International Underlings Day
  • On This Day In …
  • 45BC --- We all know that Leap Year is the year we add an extra day to the month of February -- giving February 29 days; but do you know when this all began and why it is called LEAP year? This confusing state of calendars began in 45 B.C., when Julius Caesar added an extra day to the Julian calendar every fourth year upon the advice of astronomer, Sosigenes. Or it could have been 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII ordered every fourth year to be a leap year (leap year brought the Gregorian calendar closer to the earth’s orbital period of 365.2422 days) unless it is a century year that cannot be divisible by 400. Or maybe it was 1698 when the Protestant rulers of Germany and the Netherlands thought it was time they agreed with the pope, or 1752 when the English made this calendar move or 1918 when the Russians picked up on the Gregorian calendar. It’s your call. It is called Leap Year because it is not a COMMON year. A common year consists of exactly 52 weeks plus one day. That extra day means that a specific date moves one day (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.) ahead the following year. For example: if your birthday falls on a Tuesday in one common year, it will fall on a Wednesday in the next one. Just when you get it all straight, four years have passed and a leap year comes along to confuse the issue. A leap year consists of exactly 52 weeks plus two days. So now, if your birthday fell on a Wednesday last year, it will fall on a Friday this year (February 29 through February 28 of next year). Got that? Just be happy you’re not listed on our Birthday Board for this leap year. Those who are must divide their years by four for their calendar ages unless there’s a century year in the way -- one that cannot be divided by 400, that is. Leap Years also have a very uncommon tradition attached to them. It seems that in a Leap Year or Bissextile, a woman could propose marriage to the man of her choice. At least that’s what happened in Scotland in 1288 when a law was passed making this custom legal. This traditon spread throughout the rest of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, as did the law. A woman was expected to enforce and insist upon acceptance from the gentleman of choice or he would receive a penalty or fine. A penalty could be that the gentleman had to pay for a silk or satin dress selected by the scorned woman.
  • 1288 --- A law in Scotland made it illegal for a man to refuse to marry a woman who proposed on Leap Year Day, the only day women could propose marriage.
  • 1704 --- The town of Deerfield, MA was raided on this day by French Canadians and Indians who were trying to retrieve their church bell that had been shipped from France. The bell was to hang in the Canadian Indian’s village church. Neither the raiders nor the residents of Deerfield were aware that the bell had been stolen from the ship. The Deerfield folks had purchased the bell from a privateer, unaware that it belonged to the Indian congregation. Although 56 people were killed in the incident, we could say that the 109 captured were saved by the bell.
  • 1782 --- The United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.
  • 1860 --- The first electric tabulating machine was invented by Herman Hollerith.
  • 1940 --- Gone with the Wind is honored with eight Oscars by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. An epic Southern romance set during the hard times of the Civil War, the movie swept the prestigious Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction, Film Editing, and Actress categories. However, the most momentous award that night undoubtedly went to Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of "Mammy," a housemaid and former slave. McDaniel, who won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, was the first African American actress or actor ever to be honored with an Oscar. Born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1895, McDaniel demonstrated her talents as a singer and actress while growing up in Denver, Colorado. She left school while a teenager to become a performer in several traveling minstrel groups and in 1924 became one of the first African American women to sing on U.S. radio. With the onset of the Great Depression, she was forced to take work as a ladies' washroom attendant in a Milwaukee club. The club, which hired only white performers, eventually made an exception and let her sing, and she performed there for a year before setting her sights on Hollywood.
  • 1944 --- Dorothy McElroy Vredenburgh of Alabama became the first woman to be appointed secretary of a national political party. She was appointed to the Democratic National Committee.
  • 1944 --- The Office of Defense Transportation, for the second year in a row, restricted attendance at the Kentucky Derby to residents of the Louisville area. This was an effort to prevent a railroad traffic burden during wartime.
  • 1960 --- The first Playboy Club opened on this day at 116 E. Walton, Chicago, IL. According to a list of frequently asked questions we found at playboy.com, “During the last three months of 1961, more than 132,000 people visited the Chicago club, making it the busiest night club in the world.” In case you hadn’t noticed, the last U.S. club, located in Lansing, MI, closed in 1988. The last international club, located in Manila, closed in 1991.
  • 1962 --- U Thant of Burma was elected secretary-general of the United Nations, succeeding the late Dag Hammarskjold.
  • 1964 --- Dawn Fraser got her 36th world record. The Australian swimmer was timed at 58.9 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle in Sydney, Australia.
  • 1968 --- The President's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders releases its report, condemning racism as the primary cause of the recent surge of riots. The report, which declared that "our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white--separate and unequal," called for expanded aid to African American communities in order to prevent further racial violence and polarization. Unless drastic and costly remedies were undertaken at once, the report said, there would be a "continuing polarization of the American community and, ultimately, the destruction of basic democratic values." The report identified more than 150 riots or major disorders between 1965 and 1968 and blamed "white racism" for sparking the violence--not a conspiracy by African American political groups as some claimed. Statistics for 1967 alone included 83 people killed and 1,800 injured--the majority of them African Americans--and property valued at more than $100 million damaged or destroyed. The 11-member commission, headed by Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois, was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in July 1967 to uncover the causes of urban riots and recommend solutions.
  • 1972 --- Hank Aaron signs a three-year deal with the Atlanta Braves that pays him $200,000 per year, making him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball at the time. Two years later, Aaron became baseball’s home run king when he broke Babe Ruth’s long-standing record.
  • 1972 --- The U.S. Justice Department had recently settled an antitrust lawsuit in favor of International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation. On this date, newspaper columnist, Jack Anderson revealed a memo written by ITT’s Washington lobbyist, Dita Beard, that connected ITT’s funding of part of the Republican National Convention with the resulting lawsuit settlement.
  • 1979 --- The album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd was released.
  • 1993 --- President Bill Clinton signed into law the Brady bill, which requires a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers.
  • Birthdays
  • Ann Lee (founder of the Shakers)
  • Dennis Farina
  • John Philip Holland(inventor of the modern submarine)
  • Gioacchino Rossini
  • Jimmy Dorsey
  • Dinah Shore
  • Al Rosen
  • Henri Richard