Looking Back: Franklin County’s History on Feb. 29th

County’s history Dec 4nd

Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on Feb. 29th.

25 Years Ago

1995 was not a leap year. There was no Feb. 29 that year.

50 Years Ago

1970 was not a leap year. There was no Feb. 29 that year.

100 Years Ago

February 29, 1920 — Sunday

About Those Leap Years

1920 was a leap year, but our contributing historian could not find evidence that local papers printed that day, perhaps because it fell on a Sunday and most smaller papers of that era dis not publish on Sundays.

A Google records search turned up this news event (not local) for Feb. 29, 1920, however:

The freighter ship SS Cubadist (a tanker for the Cuba Distilling Company) made its last communication after departing from Havana en route to Baltimore with a cargo of molasses.

At that time, it identified its position as 111 nautical miles (206 km; 128 mi) south-southwest of Cape Hatteras and North Carolina.

The ship and its crew of 40 were never seen again, and was believed to have been lost in a gale that swept through that area of the Atlantic Ocean.

Our historian did find this news story printed by Public Opinion on another Feb. 29 in another year:

“Can you imagine the uproar that resulted when a decree from Rome, in particular Pope Gregory XIII, advised the world that 10 days were going to be skipped in the month of October 1582? 

“The Julian calendar, established by Julius Caesar, calculated the year to be exactly 365.25 days long. The actual length of a year is 365.2422 days. This may seem insignificant, however, by the year 1582, the calendar was off by 10 days. 

“In that year, Pope Gregory XIII (hence the name Gregorian calendar) ordered 10 days be dropped in October. One day it was Oct. 4 and the next day it was Oct. 15. However, I might add, the United States did not adopt this new calendar until the middle of the 18th century. 

“George Washington was born on Feb. 11 using the Julian calendar, we celebrate his birthday on Feb. 22 using the Gregorian calendar. 

‘To prevent calendar errors from happening again, it was decided that leap year would be dropped in every year that ended in double zeros (2000 ends with double zeros). This didn’t solve the problem completely so an exception was made. If a year ending in double zeros was divisible by 400, then it would be a leap year. 

“The number 2000 ends with double zeros and is divisible by 400, thus the year 2000 is a leap year. This still is not totally correct because over a long period of time this still makes for errors. To correct this, another rule has been added. Every year divisible by 4000 will not be a leap year. 

“Another proposal has been under consideration. The proposal would make every year ending in double zeros, that leaves a remainder of 200 or 600 when divided by 900, a leap year.“ 

Confused yet? Don’t be. My good friend Google has a complete list of leap years without all that math.

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