Friday, February 26, 2016

Happy Leap Day and Year!

Apparently, there was an onslaught of Leap Year postcards in the early 20th century, particularly around 1908 and 1912. Most played on the idea that February 29th was a day in which women could take a leap, flip the old-fashioned tables, and propose to a man. The origins of the idea are murky, but perhaps are rooted in a 13th century Scottish law that supposedly penalized men for refusing a woman's proposal during a leap year.

Examples of these cards abound on the web, including a Leap Year postcard database from Monmouth University. Our own collection of legal postcards, gift of Michael H. Hoeflich and subject of a Fall 2014 exhibit, includes a legally-themed example. The woman is apparently on "the right side of the law" in proposing to the lawyer during a Leap Year.

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