Feb. 29, 1504 – Christopher Columbus used his knowledge of a lunar eclipse that night to convince Native Americans to provide him with supplies.
Feb. 29, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, based on formal complaints from Joseph Hutchinson, Thomas Putnam, Edward Putnam and Thomas Preston, Magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin issue warrants to arrest Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba for afflicting Betty Parris, Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam Jr. and Elizabeth Hubbard.
Feb. 29, 1836 - Santa Anna sent troops toward Goliad to intercept Texan reinforcements reportedly being brought by James W. Fannin. Mexican troops are also positioned east of the Alamo, completing the encirclement of the besieged garrison. Evidence indicates an informal truce completed today may have allow some civilians inside the Alamo to leave.
Feb. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, on Leap Year Day, Federal General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick's cavalry raiders split into two wings on their way south to Richmond. Colonel Ulrich Dahlgren and 500 troopers swung out further west as Kilpatrick and 3,000 men rode on to the outskirts of Richmond. The raid stalled there, and Dahlgren was killed in an ambush. The raid was part of a plan to free 15,000 Union soldiers held near Richmond and spread word of President Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which allowed a pardon and restoration of property for Confederates willing to cease the rebellion.
Feb. 29, 1920 – Poet Howard Nemerov was born in New York City.
Feb. 29 1940 – For her role as Mammy in “Gone with the Wind,” Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award.
Feb. 29, 1972 - South Korea pulled 11,000 troops out of Vietnam as part of its program to withdraw all of its 48,000 troops from the country. The South Korean contingent had begun arriving in country on Feb. 26, 1965, as part of the Free World Military Forces, an effort by President Lyndon B. Johnson to enlist allies for the United States and South Vietnam. By securing support from other nations, Johnson hoped to build an international consensus behind his policies in Vietnam. The effort was also known as the “many flags” program. At the height of the Korean commitment in 1969, there were over 47,800 Korean soldiers actively involved in combat operations in South Vietnam. The South Korean troop withdrawal reflected the trend among other Free World Military Force participants, who had already withdrawn or were beginning to withdraw their troops, following the lead of the United States as it drastically reduced its troops commitment in South Vietnam.
Feb. 29, 1972 - Hank Aaron signed a three-year deal with the Atlanta Braves that paid 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.
Feb. 29, 1976 – Major League Baseball outfielder Terrence Long was born in Montgomery, Ala. He went on to play for the New York Mets, the Oakland Athletics, the San Diego Padres, the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees.
Feb. 29, 1980 – Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team, led by head coach Charles Branum, won the area tournament championship game by beating Monroe County High School, 71-44, at W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton. Horace Smith led Evergreen with 25, and Perona Rankins scored 16; Joe Mitchell, 11; Philander Rodgers, eight; Johnny Allen, five; Sanford Moye, four; Russell Bozeman, two. Evergreen had four players on the all-tournament team. They were Sanford Moye, Joe Mitchell, Horace Smith and Perona Rankins.