You have probably heard or read several accounts dealing with the origin of Valentine’s Day.  History may tell you about dark beginnings going back to the Roman Empire and romantic love enters the picture in the 14th and 18th centuries and there is also the religious aspect observed by some.

However let’s forget about all of that for a minute and concentrate on what most of us know about this day. Actually you don’t know much so I will take you back in time.

It was in the 1930s when a candy entrepreneur by the name of Russell Stover was trying to think of ways to increase business between Christmas and Easter.  Those were his best holidays of the year but the time in between was rough, especially in Kansas City which was his home base.

Also in KC was Joyce Hall who had founded a card company which would later be named Hallmark.  Legend has it the two met for breakfast one day and conjured up this make-believe holiday to get them through the harsh winter months. In the beginning of the modern version of Valentine’s Day it was most common to give a card and box of heart-shaped candies to a loved one and Stover and Hall cleaned up.

Later of course florists jumped in because they saw an opportunity to capitalize on the holiday and today more than 200 million roses will be sold…by far red will be the most popular.

Not to be left behind the jewelry industry has made Valentine’s Day a big one plus there will be a few engagements what will come with diamond rings.  Of course many of those who give cards, candy, flowers and jewelry will also celebrate with a nice dinner at a local restaurant. Or they might even bring a gourmet meal home.

So there you have it. The true story of Valentine’s Day.  You can’t find what I shared with you in any history books but you’ll see the holiday itself is a bit shady with no definitive origin.  Take it for what it is and whatever you do don’t forget today because if you do you’ll get a first-hand lesson in the history of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.