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. 

3. Tuesday, Feb. 29, 2000

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Steve Hawkins, left, helps Angel Smith, 7, with her new bike at the Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township, Mich. Smith was one of the 401 students who received the bikes, thanks to the outpouring of public support in the aftermath of the shooting in February 2000, when a little girl was shot to death.

• This leap day was the last in a year that ends in 00 until Feb. 29, 2400. 

• Six-year-old Dedric Owens fatally shot classmate Kayla Rolland in a stairwell at Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township, Mich., after reportedly saying to her, “I don’t like you.” He was taken into police custody soon after. Ms. Rolland is believed to be the youngest school-shooting victim in US history, and Mr. Owens is the youngest shooter. Owens's uncle, the owner of the gun, eventually pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and spent two years and five months in prison before being released on probation. 

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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