February issues of different magazines
February 29 (1988): AutoWeek Magazine
On the Cover: Car Preview: The 1989 Capri
Events that happened on February 29:
1932 – Theodore Roosevelt Jr (1887-1944) became governor-general of the Philippines succeeding Dwight Filley Davis (1879-1945).
1960 – The Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc. was incorporated as a non-stock, non-profit, private institution.
Personalities and celebrities born on February 29:
1848 – Roman Basa, second president of the Katipunan – in San Roque, Cavite. (d. February 6, 1897)
Johnny Delgado, starring in the indie film
Ang Huling Araw ng Linggo by Cinemalaya.
1948 – Johnny Delgado (real name Juan Marasigan Feleo), writer, actor, comedian and director – in Manila. (d. November 19, 2009)
THE SCIENCE & SUPERSTITION ABOUT LEAP YEAR
To laymen, leap year is nothing but a year in which February has an additional day. To men of science, a leap year is something that involves mathematics, physics and astronomy. But there is also a superstitious, wacky and trivial side to this occurrence. Read on and find out.
Why the Need for a Leap Year?
In a technical term, leap years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the earth's revolutions around the sun.
The vernal or spring equinox (March 21) is the time when the sun is directly above the Earth's equator (making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth), moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere.
The mean time between two successive vernal equinoxes is called a tropical year – also known as a solar year – and is about 365.242199 days long.
Using a calendar having a 365-day year would result in a loss of 5 hours 48 minutes 45.994 seconds per year, as compared to the solar year. After 100 years, this calendar would be more than 24 days ahead of the season, which for many purposes, such as agricultural management and maritime navigation, is not desirable or accurate. The objective in the incorporation of leap years is to align the calendar with the seasons and to make any difference as insignificant as possible.
By adding a leap year approximately every fourth year, the difference between the calendar and the seasons can be reduced quite significantly, and the calendar will align with the seasons much more accurately.
There is, however, no such thing as a perfect calendar. All the calendars that have been invented since ancient times are either off by seconds, minutes, hours or even days in comparison to the length of the solar year. To make a calendar more accurate, new leap year rules have to be introduced, complicating the calculation of the calendar even more.
How the Leap Year Evolved?
In ancient times, the calendar used was lunar in nature, having 12 months of 29 or 30 days every year. To align the calendar with the seasons, a 13th month was inserted as a “leap month” every two or three years. Many countries, especially in Asia still use such calendars. This was followed by the lunisolar calendar of 365 days.
In 238 B.C., King Ptolemy III of Egypt introduced a calendar with every fourth year earmarked as a “leap year.” This was a similar calendar introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., through his astronomer Sosigenes, to correct the existing off-seasoned Roman calendar. To realign the calendar with the seasons, Caesar ruled that the year 46 B.C. should have 445 days.
The Julian calendar, like the Ptolemy calendar, was still inadequate, as it is about 11 minutes 14 seconds longer than the solar year, and it was off season by one day every 128 years and 86 days. By the year 1580, the accumulated error of the Julian calendar caused the spring equinox to fall on March 11, or ten days earlier than it should.
So in 1582, on the advice of astronomers, Pope Gregory XIII (1502-1585) corrected the difference between season and calendar by ordering ten days dropped from October 15, 1582. This procedure restored the next vernal equinox to its proper date. To correct the Julian calendar’s errors regularly, the pope decreed that February would have an extra day in century years that could be divided by 400, such as 1600 and 2000, but not in others, such as 1700, 1800 and 1900. This is the calendar in use today in most part of the world.
Although the Gregorian calendar is very accurate in terms of its computation and incorporation of leap year, it will still need some modification in about 3,240 years.
Leap Year Tradition and Superstition
In most societies today, it is okay for a woman to propose marriage to a man. But that was not the case during the early times. When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to pop the marital question every 29th of February, which of course happens only every four years.
This belief was of mixed pagan and Christian origin. Legend has it that a would-be saint named Bridget complained to another would-be saint, Patrick, about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose marriage. So Patrick said the yearning ladies could propose on this one day in February during the leap year.
According to old English law, February 29th was ignored and had no legal status. Folks assumed that traditions would also have no status on that day. It was also reasoned that since the leap year day existed to fix a problem in the calendar, it could also be used to fix an old and unjust custom that only let men propose marriage.
The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland supposedly passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. Tradition states they also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a leap year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves.
In the Philippines, the so-called pikot marriage, most probably, was the offshoot of this tradition. Filipino men, during the 19th and 20th century, tried earnestly to avoid any contact with women on February 29. During the entirety of the leap year, the men are evidently more aloof than the women, especially those that don’t want to get “tied up.”
On the other hand, Greek superstition dictates that couples have bad luck if they marry during a leap year. Apparently one in five engaged couples in Greece would avoid planning their wedding during a leap year.
Leap Year Trivia
February 29, 2012 will fall on a Wednesday. Notice that there will be five Wednesdays on this particular leap month. The next time it will happen is on 2412. This is because the Gregorian calendar repeats the same weekdays every 400-year cycle.
In most jurisdictions, people born on February 29 will have their legal birthdays on February 28 of regular years. This means that a person born on February 29, 2012 will have reached his legal age of 18 on February 28, 2030.
The Guinness Book record holder for the longest personal name, Wolfe+585 (letters), was also born on February 29 in 1904.
The only notable person known to have both been born and died on February 29 was James Wilson (1812–1880), the Premier of Tasmania.
o O o
Sylvia Sidney on the cover of Film Weekly Magazine
February 29, 1936 issue
Ang tunay na pangalan ng American-born Jewish broadway, film at television actress na si Sylvia Sidney as Sophia Saperstein Kosow (1910-1999). Pinalitan ng kaniyang ina ang kanilang pangalan nang mag-asawa itong muli kay Sigmund Sidney. Nag-artista siya sa edad na 15-anyos. Karaniwang ang papel niya sa pelikula ay kasintahan o kapatid ng isang gangster. Nakatambal niya ang mga bigating actor ng Hollywood na sina Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda, Joel McCrea, Fredric March, Cary Grant at James Cagney. Si George Raft ang madalas niyang kakatambal.
o O o