Leap Year: this day in the history of Feb. 29

We don’t mean to state the obvious, but Feb. 29 happens once every four years (usually) – and leap year is here again. That means a whole day's worth of news will tomorrow be added to this date's comparatively small archive. 

2. Sunday, Feb. 29, 2004

AP Photo/Pablo Aneli
People celebrate after news of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's departure reached northern Cap Haitien, Haiti, in February 2004. Aristide fled Haiti, bowing to pressure from a rebellion at home and governments abroad, U.S. and Haitian officials said.

• Following a coup d’état, Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned as president of Haiti and fled the country on a United States plane accompanied by US military personnel. Within three hours, Haiti’s Supreme Court Justice Boniface Alexandre announced that he had assumed power as interim president. Mr. Aristide accused US officials of kidnapping, saying they had orchestrated the coup against him to remove him from power and forcing him into exile.

• Iraqi officials met their deadline of drafting an interim constitution. Iraq’s Governing Council signed the document after the end of the Shiite feast Ashoura a few days later. Officials said the charter would recognize Islam as “a source of legislation” rather than the only source as some officials had sought, and that no law would be passed that violated the tenets of the Muslim religion.

• The 76th Academy Awards were broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. The night’s biggest winner, “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” swept all 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture and Best Director, matching the record held by “Titanic” and “Ben-Hur.” Best Actor and Actress honors went to Sean Penn for “Mystic River” and Charlize Theron for “Monster.” Best Supporting Actor and Actress honors went to Tim Robbins for “Mystic River” and Renée Zellweger for “Cold Mountain.”   

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