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This Day in History for February 29

1892 – St. Petersburg, Florida is incorporated.

1904 – Theodore Roosevelt, appoints 7-man Panama Canal Commission to proceed with completing a canal at the Isthmus.

1932 – TIME magazine features eccentric American politician William “Alfalfa” Murray on its cover after Murray stated his intention to run for President of the United States.

1936 – US President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs 2nd Neutrality Act.

1940 – Hattie McDaniel becomes 1st African American woman to win an Oscar for “Gone with the Wind”

1940 – American golfer Jimmy Demaret wins his third PGA Tour event within an 8-day span, taking the St. Petersburg Open by 1 stroke from Bryron Nelson.

1944 – US troops land on Los Negros, Admirality Islands.

1952 – Dick Button leads an unprecedented American sweep when he wins World Men’s Figure Skating Championship in Paris; beats compatriots James Grogan and  Hayes Alan Jenkins for his 5th straight world title.

1956 – US President Eisenhower announces he will seek a 2nd term.

1956 – MLB’s Cleveland Indians franchise is sold for nearly $4m; former player and the team’s general manager Hank Greenberg is part of the new ownership group.

1960 – JFK makes “missile gap” the presidential campaign issue.

1964 – LBJ reveals US secretly developed the A-11 jet fighter.

1964 – NC high school basketball team plays to 56-54 score in 13 overtimes.

1968 – Beatles’ “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” wins Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the first rock LP to do so.

1972 – Future Baseball Hall of Famer right fielder Hank Aaron becomes first player to earn $200,000 average annual salary, signs 3-year deal with Atlanta Braves after one of his best seasons – .327 average, 47 HRs and 118 RBIs.

1972 – Jack Anderson discloses Dita Beard (ITT) memo indicating antitrust charges were dropped for $400,000 contribution to Republican Party.

1976 – American driver Richard Petty wins the only Winston Cup race run on Leap Day, taking the Carolina 500 at Rockingham by 2 laps over Darrell Waltrip.

1988 – NYC Mayor Koch calls Reagan a “WIMP” in the war on drugs.

2004 – 76th Academy Awards: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” Sean Penn & Charlize Theron win.

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