Legally Speaking – Valentines Day


JOPLIN, Mo. — Valentine’s day is almost here.

And while today that means cards, flowers and a romantic meal – that hasn’t always been the case.

Attorney Aaron Sachs discusses the history of the holiday in this week’s Legally Speaking.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, stores are packed with flowers and cards, but how did it all begin? How many cards are sent each year and what can you tell us about the history of Valentine Day?

“Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are going to be sent this year, Making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. Women purchase about 85% of those valentines. It started back at the end of the 5th century with a Pope who declared February 14th Valentine’s Day. However, It was not until around the 13th century that the holiday became associated with love and romance.”

Was there something that prompted the declaration of a new holiday?

“There are different theories about the origins of Valentine’s Day. And One is based on three Catholic martyrs in the Church who all had the name Valentine. One helped free prisoners; one sent a ‘valentine’ to his Lady Love while they were imprisoned; and of course the last one was to commemorate for the death or burial of St. Valentine. Valentine’s was one of the most popular saints known in England and in France.”

Is Valentine’s Day celebrated in all countries and when did we start exchanging cards?

“It’s actually not celebrated in every country, but obviously in the United States, celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia as well as a few other countries. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines cards in the early 1700s. In the 1840, Esther Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines cards in America.”

What is the bottom line?

“Well in the beginning Valentine’s Day was not originally about romance, but it now has become a multi-million dollar industry.”

Legally Speaking was sponsored by Aaron Sachs and Associates.

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