Love and War, Piece of Valentine’s history!

Valentine’s card from 1940.
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!
I hope those of you who went to the G.I. Jive Valentine’s Day Dance last Saturday evening enjoyed yourselves!
For the holiday, I thought I’d do a little post about the origins of the day and some fun facts!
For example, did you know that February is considered the month of romance because it is the beginning of mating season for birds? I sure didn’t!

Valentine’s card from 1940.
Most of us know the legend of Valentine’s Day started with Valentinus, a theologian persecuted for his beliefs in Christianity. Legend has it, while in jail he healed the jailer’s blind daughter and just before his death sentence was carried out, he wrote a letter to the daughter and signed it “From Your Valentine”. He was killed on the very next day, February 14, 269 A.D. But what most of us do not know is that in Rome, hundreds of years later, men and women honored the goddess of love, Juno, on February 14. Men would draw the name of one woman and try to court them for marriage. By 498 A.D., Pope Gelasius made February 14 Saint Valentine’s Day to honor Valentinus and end the pagan celebration of Juno. So in essence, the two very different occasions were merged together to form the time-honored tradition of romance.
1940s Valentine’s card, outside.

Another fun fact, Esther Howland is responsible for the very first American valentine published in 1849! So now we can blame her for all the extra cards we give people! Over 150 million cards are exchanged each year, making it the second-largest holiday for card giving. The holiday is also celebrated in Mexico, Great Britain, France, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and of course, Italy!

In the 1940s, many lovebirds were separated because of the war, most often for multiple years in a row. However, that did not stop them from exchanging greeting cards and keeping the flame alive despite the distance! Also, the messages on their cards were a little different than what we see today… I now understand what my grandparents say to each other!

1940s Valentine’s card, inside.

Take care,

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