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29th February

0046 B.C. The first Leap Day proclaimed by Julius Caesar.

1692 US Three women, Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, were the first to be accused of witchcraft in Salem.

1792 * Gioacchino (Antonio) Rossini, Italian composer of The Barber of The Seville (1816).

1840 * John Philip Holland, Irish-born US developer of the modern submarine.

1880 The St Gotthard Tunnel (9 miles long) linking Switzerland and Italy was completed.

1896 * Ranchhodji Morarji Desa, former Indian Prime Minister.

1908 Dutch scientists produced Helium for the first time.

1928 * Joss Ackland, English stage and film actor.

1940 Hattie McDaniel became the first black woman to win an Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind.

1956 Pakistan became an Islamic republic.

1960 A huge earthquake devastated the southern Moroccan city of Agadir killing up to 20,000.

1964 The Queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra, gave birth to a son James Robert Bruce, at her home in Surrey.

1968 Discovery of the first 'pulsar' announced by Dr. Jocelyn Burnell of Cambridge.

1984 Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announced his resignation after more than 15 years in office.

1996 The siege of Bosnian capital Sarajevo was declared officially over after almost four years of continuous shelling and sniper attacks.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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