Leap Year

      Today I learned more about leap year.

      A leap year happens every four years when there’s an extra day added to February. Most years have 365 days but a leap year has 366 days. This year, leap day falls on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

      According to the the website timeanddate.com: “Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.” It takes the Earth 365.242199 days to go around the Sun. But our calender says there are 365 days every year, so we lose six hours every year. After 100 years, our calender would be off by 24 days without leap year.

      Birthdays

      Some people’s birthday falls on the extra day added in February every four years. When this happens, they usually celebrate their birthday on February 28 or March 1st instead. An example of someone who’s birthday is on February 29 is shown on the right. Aaliyah Owens who is actually technically four years old is celebrating her 16th leap year birthday this Wednesday. You can learn more about her and other people with leap year birthdays here.

      By doing simple division you can find out whether a year is a leap year or not. Just divide the year by 4. If there is a remainder, the year is not a leap year. If there is not a remainder, the year is a leap year. The video above shows how to do division to know if a year is a leap year or not.

      This day in history

      There have been a lot of historical events on February 29. One of the events was when three women — Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba — were accused of witchcraft in Salem, Mass., on February 29, 1692. The Salem Witch Trials that followed were some of the craziest things to ever happen in the history of this country. During the trials, the women who were accused of being witches were taken to court and were then hanged if they were found guilty.

      Bonus

      I also learned that Jan Berenstain, author of The Berenstain Bears series, died today at the age of 88. The Berenstain Bears series contained some of my favorite books when I was little.

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