Valentine's Day in the USA

Valentine's Day in the USA

Valentine's Day postcard, circa 1910 Valentine's Day was probably imported into North America in the 19th century with settlers from Britain. In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828 � 1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father operated a large book and stationery store, and she took her inspiration from an English valentine she had received. (Since 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual "Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary".)

In the United States in the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to include the giving of all manner of gifts, usually from a man to a woman. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates. Starting in the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for giving fine jewelry.

In 1929 due to tensions between gangs in Chicago, members of a gang led by Al Capone killed several members of Bugs Moran's gang in what became known as the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.

The day has come to be associated with a generic platonic greeting of "Happy Valentine's Day."

Those without a significant other often speak with sarcasm by referring to Valentine's Day as "Singles' Awareness Day".

Controversy was brought forth on 16 February 2004 when Nickelodeon aired an episode of Blue's Clues that was an obvious St. Valentine's Day special, yet was referring to the holiday as "Love Day". Nickelodeon was widely criticized for attempting to evade the Christian connotations concerning the Catholic St. Valentine.