The Sweetest Day is a day of celebration that is now similar to Valentine's Day. It is prevalent only in some parts of the United States. Observed every year on the third Saturday in October, the once regional celebration is beginning to spread to other parts of the country, according to the Hallmark website.
The Sweetest Day began in Cleveland, Ohio in 1922. Philanthropist and candy company employee Herbert Birch Kingston decided to spread some cheer by distributing candy and gifts to orphans, shut-ins and those less fortunate. As time went by, the idea of giving candy and gifts soon became an occasion that included offering a remembrance to everyone. Following the lead of Herbert Birch Kingston, local candy makers continued the tradition by giving candy to local charities.
The First Day
On the first day of the Sweetest Day celebration movie Ann Pennington gave 2,200 boxes of candy to Cleveland newspaper boys in appreciation of their service to the public. Theda Bara, another popular star of the era, distributed 10,000 boxes of candy to hospital patients throughout Cleveland. She also presented candy to those who came to the local theater to watch her film.
Originating in Ohio, the Sweetest Day celebrations soon spread to areas of the Great Lakes and the Northeast. As people became more mobile they took the tradition along with them. In addition to Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, California and Florida celebrate Sweetest Day.
The idea of spreading good cheer on the Sweetest Day now includes giving a token gift to family members, acquaintances and co-workers. The Sweetest Day has also become a popular date night and has evolved into a holiday associated with romance that includes the traditions of Valentine's Day. Romantic dinners are now part of the celebration, as well as sending flowers, chocolates, greetings cards and ecards.
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