(credit: world wide web – several sources)
- The first American publisher of valentines was printer and artist Esther Howland. During the 1870s, her elaborate lace cards were purchased by the wealthy, as they cost a minimum of 5 dollars – some sold for as much as 35 dollars. Mass production eventually brought prices down, and the affordable “penny valentine” became popular with the lower classes.
- The first televised tour of the White House aired on February 14 in 1962. First Lady Jackie Kennedy hosted the tour.
- The most fantastic gift of love is the Taj Mahal in India. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife, who died in childbirth. Work on the Taj began in 1634 and continued for almost 22 years. required the labor of 20,000 workers from all over India and Central Asia.
- The oldest known Valentines were sent in 1415 A.D. by the Duke of Orleans to his French wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It is still on display in a museum in England.
- The oldest surviving love poem is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C. It was unromantically named Istanbul #2461 by the archeologists who unearthed it.
- Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates, and family members.
Do send in more trivia that you may know. What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Is there a day dedicated to the Indian God of love, Mammatha or Kama?