February 9, 2022 –
I will never forget February 13, 1947, the day before Valentine’s Day. My second-grade class filled out our Valentine’s card to exchange with the other 27 members of the class. Children in the class did not exchange candy or gifts —only cards.
In 1947 approximately 85 million Valentine’s Day cards were exchanged industry-wide (not including packaged kids’ valentines for classroom exchanges), making Valentine’s Day the second-largest holiday for giving greetings cards.
There was no message of love for any classmate. I was to sign “from Wayne.” My classmates were not impressed on Valentine’s Day.
The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honor of Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269. On February 14, 1947, I didn’t celebrate; I hid from my classmates — I signed 27 Valentine’s Day cards with “Frome” Wayne.