Today, February 29, is leap day. It occurs only once every four years and is thus a special occasion.
In the Nineteenth Century, in the United States, Leap Day was the one day a quadrennium when it was considered socially acceptable for a woman to propose marriage to a man. Some men took advantage of this fine reversal of fortunes and offered themselves up for the bonds of matrimony.
On January 1 of 1884 and 1888, the Chicago newspaper the Daily Inter-Ocean presented a list of eligible bachelors who would entertain proposals on Leap Day. You can find more of their ads at the blog of the New York Public Library.
Four suits! There's a winner.
-via Marilyn Bellamy