February 14th History, Trivia and Fun Facts
February 14th History Highlights
Everybody loves Valentine's Day. Well, everybody that has a significant other is supposed to loveValentine's Day. Either way, it is another excuse for people to spend all day eating chocolate, and who could contest to that?
Many think Valentine's Day is just a day commemorating Cupid and his little arrow of love, but there's a little bit more mystery to it than that. There is more than one Saint Valentine recognized by the Catholic Church, so, which one started the whole day of romance and flowers?
One legend of Valentine is he was a Roman priest who served during the third century. At this time, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage because he thought single men made better soldiers. Valentine was appalled by this and thought it would be best to keep performing marriages for young couples in love. When the emperor found out about what Valentine was doing behind his back, he had Valentine put to death. Not the greatest end to a story about love.
It is said Valentine sent love letters to a young, blind girl from prison, whom visited him while he was there. Supposedly he signed each letter, "From your Valentine." Sound familiar?
While it is true that February 14th is the day all Valentines were martyred, some say Valentine's Day is in February because in ancient Rome it is the official beginning of spring, a time of cleaning and purification. The middle of February was also the time of a Christian fertility festival called Lupercalia.
Around 498 AD Pope Gelasius declared February 14th Valentine's Day. Later, in France and England during the Middle Ages, February 14th was believed to be the first day of bird mating season. (How romantic!) But that also added to the whole notion of a day of love.
According to the History Channel, Valentines Day became popular in Great Britain around the 17th century. Exchanging handwritten notes of affection became popular in the 18th century, and by the 19th century printed cards were available to send. Currently, it is approximated by the Greeting Card Association that one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide.
If you ever wondered why everywhere you look on Valentines Day there are hearts all around, it's because it's a belief in the Christain faith that the heart is the seat of all emotions, especially love. And since love is the dominant feeling of the day, the heart is now a great symbol of the holiday.
SAD - Singles Awareness Day
You may not know it, but there is a different side to the Valentines Day wonder. It is called Singles Awareness Day, also known as SAD. Although this holiday is usually celebrated on February 15th, it can also be celebrated on the 13th or 14th.
This holiday lets people know that it's ok to be single, and why not celebrate it?! The tradition is for singles to get together, go to dinner, bars, or even a movie. (It's usually preferrable that you get together with more than one other single.) However, other activities may include: sending yourself flowers/chocolates, planning a party for singles to mix and meet, or possibly sitting home alone eating popcorn and watching The Notebook. The choice is yours.
The holiday was originally created for February 14th, but who wants to celebrate being single on a day that celebrates love, relationships, and matromony? So for all you singles out there, work up the strenght to sit it out for one day and then CELEBRATE YOUR SINGLENESS!!
Greatest Love Letter of All Time? (To Jane)
I am Tarzan of the Apes.
I want you. I am yours. You are mine.
We live here together always in my house. I will bring you the best of fruits, the tenderest deer, the finest meats that roam the jungle. I will hunt for you. I am the greatest of the jungle fighters. I will fight for you. I am the mightiest of the jungle fighters. You are Jane Porter, I saw it in your letter.
When you see this you will know that it is for you and that Tarzan of the Apes loves you.
February 14th is...
Ferris Wheel Day
National Cream-filled Chocolates day
National (Organ) Donor Day
Pet Theft Awareness Day
Read To Your Child Day
Saint Valentine's Day
February 14th Quotes
Everything good that happened to me happened by accident.
I learned that I never really know the true story of my guests'
lives, that I have to content myself with knowing that when I'm
interviewing somebody, I'm getting a combination of fact and truth
and self-mythology and self-delusion and selective memory and
Some things you don't need until they leave you; they're the
things that you miss.
Comedy itself is based upon very old principles of which I can
readily name seven. They are, in short: the joke, exaggeration,
ridicule, ignorance, surprise, the pun, and finally, the comic
I was in the right place at the right time.
Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you
I used to lie in bed in my flat and imagine what would happen
if there was a zombie attack.
February 14th Birthdays
1824 - Winfield Scott Hancock, American general and politician (died in 1886)
1838 - Margaret E. Knight, American inventor (died in 1914)
1859 - George Ferris, American engineer and inventor, created the Ferris Wheel (died in 1896)
1882 - John Barrymore, American actor (died in 1942)
1894 - Jack Benny, American comedic actor (died in 1974)
1913 - Mel Allen, American sportscaster (died in 1996)
1929 - Vic Morrow, American actor (died in 1982)
1941 - Donna Shalala, American politician
1942 - Michael Bloomberg, American businessman and politician
1944 - Carl Bernstein, American journalist and author
1946 - Gregory Hines, American actor, singer, and dancer (died in 2003)
1947 - Tim Buckley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (died in 1975)
1948 - Pat O'Brien, American journalist
1951 - Terry Gross, American radio host
1957 - Alan Hunter, American television host and actor
1960 - Meg Tilly, American actress
1968 - Jules Asner, American model and television host
1970 - Simon Pegg, English actor, director and producer
1972 - Rob Thomas, American singer-songwriter
1977 - Jim Jefferies, Australian comedian
1988 - Katie Boland, Canadian actress
1992 - Freddie Highmore, English actor
February 14th History
278 - Valentine, a priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was beheaded for performing (illegal at the time) marriage ceremonies.
1779 - Captain James Cook, the great English explorer and surveyor in the Royal Navy, was murdered by natives of Hawaii during his third visit to the Pacific island group.
1822 - The patent (#X003456) was issued for the first practical grass mowing machine to Jeremiah Bailey of Chester county, Pennsylvania.
1876 - Both Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied for a telephone patent. Alexander's was later approved.
1903 - The United States Department of Commerce and Labor is established (it was later split into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor).
1912 - Arizona was admitted at the 48th state of the United States.
1920 - The League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago.
1921 - Birthday (fictional) Skeezix Wallett, character in Gasoline Alley comic strip
1929 - Sir Alexander Fleming left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered, and noticed the mold had killed much of the bacteria. He identified the mold as penicillium notatum, and shortened the name to Penicillin.
1932 - The US team won the first bobsled competition at the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, NY.
1938 - Former silent film actress Hedda Hopper began her gossip column in The Los Angeles Times.
1949- The Knesset (parliament of Israel) convened for the first time.
1954 - The TV show Letter to Loretta changed its name to The Loretta Young Show. The show premiered on September 20, 1953.
1961 - Element 103, Lawrencium, was first synthesized at the University of California.
1962 - First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave a tour of the White House on CBS television.
1968- Broadway Show - Plaza Suite (Play) February 14, 1968
1970 - Live at Leeds by The Who was recorded.
1970 - # 1 Hit February 14, 1970 - February 27, 1970: Sly & the Family Stone - Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) / Everybody Is a Star
1972 - Broadway Show - Grease (Musical) February 14, 1972
1987 - # 1 Hit February 14, 1987 - March 13, 1987: Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer
1989 - Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses. It was rescinded in 1998.
1989 - Union Carbide agreeed to pay $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal disaster.
1998 - # 1 Hit February 14, 1998 - February 27, 1998: Usher - Nice And Slow
2000 - NEAR Shoemaker became the first spacecraft to orbit around an asteroid, 433 Eros
2002 - The final Family Guy episode aired after Fox announced its cancellation. It came back after DVD sales indicated a huge audience for the show.
2004 - # 1 Hit February 14, 2004 - February 20, 2004: Outkast featuring Sleepy Brown - The Way You Move
2005 - Youtube.com was launched.
February 14, 2006 - The Apple MacBook Pro was released.
February 14, 2010 - Starstruck aired on The Disney Channel
February 14, 2016 (fiction) Pris was incepted, Blade Runner, Film
Today's Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts
To let a fool kiss you is stupid. To let a kiss fool you is worse.
Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues #4 - Resolution.
More Pop Culture History Resources
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