Friday, February 29, 2008

On this day

On February 29, ...
... 2008 (today), is celebrated Leap Year Day, the extra day squeezed into the calendar every 4 years "so that the calendar is in alignment with the earth's motion around the sun." Among traditions followed on this day is that which, in days long ago and as depicted in the 1908 postcard at right, gave a woman freedom to propose marriage rather than wait for a lagging bachelor to ask her. The arrival of a Leap Year also augurs the onset of 2 quadrennial events: a new U.S. Presidential election cycle and a new Summer Olympics, this year to be held, in Beijing, China.
... 1968 (40 years ago today) , the report of a bipartisan group appointed by U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson, formally titled the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders and known less formally as the Kerner Commission because its chair was Illinois Governor Otto Kerner, warned against the consequences of racism: "'Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal.'" The commission contended that without immediate remedial change there'd be a "'continuing polarization of the American community and, ultimately, the destruction of basic democratic values.'"

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