Today is Leap Day! Every four years, an extra day is added to our calendar at the end of February. Here are some fun facts about why:
-Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the Sun.
-It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds - to circle once around the Sun. Without an extra day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!
-Julius Caesar introduced the first leap year around 46 B.C.
-It's acceptable for a woman to propose to a man on Feb. 29. The custom has been attributed to St. Bridget, who is said to have complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for men to propose marriage. Patrick supposedly gave women one day to propose.
-During leap years, George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), the Titanic sank (1912), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752) and gold was discovered in California (1848).
Source: Julie Washington, The Plain Dealer