Most of you know that Valentines Day is supposed to be a day to declare your love. It is the holiday that sells the most the greeting cards with the exception of Christmas and it is also a holiday where gifts of candy and flowers are freely and not so freely given as tokens of affection. Here are a few fact’s about Valentine’s day you may not know.
1. In reality, there were actually 3 St. Valentine’s. One was a priest, one a bishop and one little is known about except he was a martyr. The stories of the priest’s and bishop’s martyrdom are so closely related it is difficult to tell which St. Valentine the Holiday is named after.
2. According to legend it was St. Valentine himself who sent the first valentine in the form of a letter to his jailer’s blind daughter with whom he had fallen in love. Just before he was put to death at the hands of King Claudius II for marrying the kings soldiers without the king’s permission he penned a note to his love and signed it: From your Valentine.
3. It is believed that a mount Holyoke college student by the name of Ester Howland created the first lace valentine in the United States from lace, ribbon and colorful pictures. She has become known as the Mother of the Valentine.
4. Teachers receive more valentine cards than anyone else, even children.
5. More than 650 million valentine cards are exchanged by children from ages 6-10 each year. Most of these cards are bought in the last 6 days leading up to Valentine’s day.
6. Each year the city of Verona Italy receives more than 1000 valentine’s addressed to Shakespeare’s Juliet. It really is amazing how much affection a dead fictional character can attract.
7. It was once believed that if a woman saw a flying robin on Valentine’s day she would end up getting married to a sailor. If a sparrow was the bird she saw she would end up marrying a man that was poor and live a happy life, if she saw a goldfinch then she was to marry a man that was a millionaire. One can only wonder who she would marry if she saw a crow.
8. In 1929 at the height of prohibition Al Capone ordered the killing of members of a rival gang run by Bugs Moran in Chicago on Valentines Day. Authorities were unable to find any real evidence to tie Capone to the crime and he was never arrested or tried for the murder of these seven men. Instead he served his time for tax evasion.
9. More than 9 million pet owners buy gifts for their pets for Valentine’s day. Now that is what can be called real puppy love.
10. It is estimated that 15% of the women in the United States who receive flowers for Valentine’s day send them to themselves. There are no figures that tell how many of these women are married, single or in a relationship.
Valentine’s day may be a commercial holiday but, as you can see it is one that has some interesting history and facts surrounding it.
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