There Is Always a Lesson to be Learned

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Certainly, you know that today is leap year day. February 29 appears in our calendar only once every fourth year. The rules established to make this “seasonal catch up” possible have come down through history since the Julian Calendar was created in 45 BC. Other circumstances have resulted in several adjustments over the years, and it appears that the most significant change came in 1582 when most of Western Civilization abandoned the Julian Calendar in favor of a newer version ordered by Pope Gregory XIII.

There are many traditions attached to Leap Year and the one that continues to be practiced in some English-speaking countries is Bachelor’s Day.  Bachelor’s Day, sometimes known as Ladies’ Privilege Day, is basically an Irish tradition during which a woman is allowed to propose marriage to a man on February 29th. The custom is based on the legend of Saint Bridget and Saint Patrick.

In the postcard world, at least fourteen publishers created Leap Year sets that were very popular and profitable. Some of the publisher’s names you will recognize at once: Gabriel, the Illustrated Postcard Company, E. Nash, The Rose Company, Tuck, and Ullman. The names of the artists are equally familiar: Dwig, Thackeray, Curtis, and several sets that were published without an artistic credit. So, it goes without saying that Postcard History should offer our readers a history of leap year cards.

A Gallery of Leap Year Postcards

[Editor’s note: When the preparation of this article began, it was just like every other one of the nearly nine-hundred articles we have presented to our readers each Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday since late May 2019. I do not ask for your forgiveness but would appreciate your understanding of my situation. The situation is simple, I simply forgot that Postcard History had already presented a thorough and well researched contribution on Leap Year written by our contributor Kaya Fellcheck. Kaya’s article was entitled Leap Year! One of Mankind’s Headaches and it appeared on March 2, just two days after the last Leap Day in 2020. To compound the situation, a second article entitled Leap Year, Leap Day, Leapers, and Postcards! was published on August 1, 2022. The reason I am embarrassed over the second article is that I wrote it.]

With the above explanation in mind, I would like to remind our readers who have asked, are the back articles always available, and if so, how are they found? A ‘How To” set of instructions follow:

There are five easy steps: 1. Open the Postcard History homepage; 2. At the top of the page you will see the current article and the last three articles in chronological order; 3. Scroll down and you will notice that the column width changes; the left column contains the weekly “News and Noteworthy” and the right column contains two gray dialog boxes. (See image below.)

The top one is named, Search with keywords. 4. This box enables you to search for any word you type into the box. When the software completes your search, a page (or in most cases, several pages will pop-up listing every article in the site that contains the word you searched for. If you are looking for leap year articles, type your search words inside quotation marks, e.g., “leap year”.

The bottom box – the one under the Keyword Search box – is the Archives search. 5. When you click in that box where the words, “Select Month” appear, a drop-down menu will appear. You may select any month on the list and again pages will open with all the articles published during that month in chronological order.

It would be wonderful if you found an article you missed. If you have problems, please email me at

And . . . did I hear someone ask, what lesson did you learn? That’s easy … always check the archives before starting a new project.

Happy Leap Day!

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Thank you for the additional info about Leap Year postcards and the instructions for finding other articles. Please keep up the great articles.

Another observance which encourages women to propose to me is Sadie Hawkins Day, which owes its existence to the Li’l Abner comic strip. Although generally celebrated on November 13, the official date was set as November 26 by Al Capp in his final Li’l Abner daily strip on November 5, 1977.

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