Everyone knows about leap years, but why is February so short? Despite the awesomeness of the theory, it appears that Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus didn't steal days from February to pad his own month.
The truth about February is even stranger. The ancient Romans didn't even assign months to the winter season!
King Numa Pompilius thought that was stupid. Why have a calendar if you're going to neglect one-sixth of the year? So in 713 BCE, he lined the calendar up with the year's 12 lunar cycles--a span of about 355 days--and introduced January and February. The months were added to the end of the calendar, making February the last month of the year.
But no Roman calendar would be complete without some good old-fashioned superstition mixed in! The Romans believed even numbers were unlucky, so Numa tried to make each month odd. But to reach the quota of 355, one month had to be even. February ended up pulling the short stick, probably because it was simply the last month on the list.
Read the rest for more weirdness. Good job, history.