Category: February 29



    National Time Refund Day celebrates that one day every four years, February 29th, when we get back something notoriously hard to reclaim: time.

    While the observance may have come to be as a way of correcting the cosmos for our calendars, since we get the time back, we may as well make meaningful use of it. In fact, setting something aside in the hopes we can someday reclaim it is an idea that resonates well with Americans.

    Another less glamorous day inspired this time giving day: Tax Day. But both operate on the same simple principle, whereby we put something aside, sometimes begrudgingly, but reclaim it in one glorious day. That one glorious day every four years where we get our time back is Time Refund Day.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #TimeRefundDay

    Time Refund Day is all about reclaiming our time. That means you can celebrate it by doing the things you enjoy most! Spend time with family, volunteer, start a new book, go outside, or work on something you may procrastinate on other days of the year, like doing your taxes or bathing your dog.

    But whatever you do, remember that it’s all about making the best use of that refund. We can’t create more time, but we’re fortunate to get some back. Use it wisely, and be sure to use #TimeRefundDay to share on social media.


    HR Block Tax Pro Go GraphicH&R Block founded National Time Refund Day to encourage people to make the best of their time refund on Leap Day.

    According to a survey from H&R Block, Americans crave more free time with 70% of respondents saying they would spend money if that could buy them more time.

    H&R Block’s virtual tax product, Tax Pro Go, saves Americans valuable time by providing expert tax prep without the office visit. Instead of doing their taxes, taxpayers can spend that time doing something they enjoy while an H&R Block tax expert trained to handle their unique situation does the rest. It’s like a time refund.

    While the celebration is every four years, it’s a gentle reminder to value the extra time and returns in life.

    The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed National Time Refund Day in 2020 to be observed on the Leap Day (February 29th) every four (4) years.


    H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) provides help and inspires confidence in its clients and communities everywhere through global tax preparationfinancial services, and small business solutions. The company is disrupting the tax industry by providing consumers price transparency and with digital platforms such as Tax Pro Go. H&R Block believes the best solutions blend digital capabilities with human expertise and care. For more information, get H&R Block News online and follow @HRBlockNews.

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    February 29th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


    Bil Keane’s Family Circus cartoon strip debuts

    February 29th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Ja Rule – 1976

    Born Jeffrey Bruce Atkins, the American rapper and songwriter rose to popularity during the 2000s with hits like “Between Me and You” and “It Ain’t Funny.” He’s earned several Grammy nods including one with his wife Ashanti for “Always on Time.”

  • NATIONAL LEAP DAY – February 29


    For a day that is celebrated only once every 4 years (with some mathematical exceptions we’ll go over later) it sure seems to have a lot going on around it.

    Leap year has devious explorers, beloved saints, partying boarder towns and proposal popping Irish ladies. And let’s not forget all the birthdays babies. They do have some making up to do on the celebrating, you know!

    Since the beginning of time, man has been improving the way we keep it. That applies to calendars as well. Early Egyptians had a leap year in their calendar. The early Roman calendar had entire leap month from time to time to keep the days in line with the astronomical year.

    It was Julius Casaer and astronomer Sosigenes who revamped the Roman calendar giving it 12 months with equally (almost) distributed days and adding a leap day every 4 years.

    In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII adjusted the calendar once again. Because the Earth revolves around the sun once every 365.2421 days, one leap day every 4 years is just slightly too much. Instead of shortening the leap day, the Gregorian calendar is designed such that leap days only happen every 4 years except years evenly divisible by 100 but not 400.

    There was not a leap day in 1900 and there will not be one in 2100. So a baby born on February 29, 2096 will be in the 3rd grade on his 1st birthday!

    And even this adjustment doesn’t keep the days perfectly aligned with the seasons. Those humans who are still around in 10,000 years will have to address those issues. It’s truly not a leap day concern.



    A tradition that has its origins in 5th century Ireland allows women to propose marriage to a man on leap day. According to lore, Saint Brigid complained on behalf of young maids that their men were too shy to propose. To appease her, Saint Patrick declared that on February 29th would be a day when women could propose.

    The Scot’s took this tradition a step further. In 1288 Queen Margaret is rumored to have made it law that women could propose on February 29, but had to wear red petticoats to alert their men to their romantic intentions. There was a fine charged to the men who refused the proposal as well.

    However interesting and strongly held the traditions may be, there is no documentation supporting the decree by Saint Patrick, and there is no law on the books in Scotland.

    Despite the lack of proof, the tradition has continued. Men in upper class European society who dared to refused a proposal was obligated to protect the lady’s honor by giving her a gift; gloves to cover her un-ringed hand.

    A reflection of this custom today, in some countries February 29th is known as Bachelor Day.

    A lunar eclipse on leap day 1504 have Christopher Columbus the perfect foil to trick the natives into continuing to provide supplies to his stranded expedition. Aware of the upcoming lunar eclipse, Columbus told the chief that his god was angry and would take away the moon as punishment and proof of his anger.

    Hattie McDaniel, known for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, was awarded the first Academy Award for an African American on leap day 1940.
    Late on the evening of leap day 1960 the city of Agadir in Morocco the earth shook for 15 seconds. A small city of 2,500 was abruptly woken. The quake was considered a moderate one, but it devastated the city killing two thirds of its residents.

    Catholics honor St. Oswald, a beloved saint who died on leap day in the year 972. His feast day is celebrated on February 28th every year.



    Consider visiting the Leap Year Capital. Anthony, a city divided by the New Mexico – Texas boarder, has laid claim to the title Leap Year Capital of the World. In 1988 leap year baby Mary Ann Brown thought her town of Anthony could benefit from a festival celebrating the birthdays of leap year babies and put the idea to the Chamber of Commerce. The Leap Year Festival was born and the festival has grown every leap year since.
    In 2016 Anthony will celebrate their 7th festival.

    In both Canada and the United States there have been proposals to make Leap Day national days that would encourage people to take the extra day to do some good in the world.

    What ever you do, be sure to make the most of your extra day.  It only comes around every four years or so! Use #NationalLeapDay to post on social media.


    Tony Robbins – Author – 1960

    Simon Gagne – Hockey Player – 1980

    Saul Williams – poet, actor, writer, musician – 1972

    Dennis Farina – Actor – 1944

    Billy Turner – Horse Trainer – Triple Crown winner – 1940

    Bryce Paup – Football player – 1968

    Olav Henriksen, Leif-Martin Henriksen, and sister Heidi Henriksen – siblings all born on February 29 in different years. No they are not triplets. 1960, 1964, 1968

    Chucky Brown – NBA basketball player – 1968

    Cary Conklin – NFL quarterback – 1968

    Phyllis Frelich – deaf American actress – Member of National Theatre of the Deaf – 1944

    Fabien Bownes – NFL wide receiver – 1972

    Jack Lousma – Astronaut – Skylab 3, Space shuttle Columbia – 1936

    William Hathaway – U.S. Senator – 1924

    Al Rosen – Baseball player – 1924

    Dinah Shore – Actress – 1916

    Dee Alexander Brown II – Historian and novelist

    Stanley Swash – CEO of Woolworths – 1908

    John Byrom – English poet, inventor of short hand – 1692

    Jimmy Dorsey – Saxophonist, composer and bandleader – 1904

    Herman Hollerith – Statistician, inventor.-1860

    John “Pepper” Martin – Baseball player 1904