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Sandy Mitchell

Countdown to Sweetest Day

By October 3, 2013

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Sweetest Day, celebrated each year on the third Saturday of October, is a home-grown Cleveland holiday. Contrary to popular belief, the event was not started by Cleveland card manufacturer American Greetings Co.

The holiday was begun in 1922 by a regular citizen, Herbert Birch Kingston, who wanted to do something nice for the city's less fortunate residents. He gathered up pounds of chocolates and, with the aid of film stars Theda Bara and Ann Pennington, delivered boxes of candy to Cleveland area newsboys, orphanages, and hospitals.

Today, the original "Sweetest Day of the Year" has evolved into a romantic holiday, similar to Valentine's Day. It's become a day when boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives exchange cards, presents, and share a dinner for two.

Sweetest Day, though still most popular in Northeast Ohio, has spread throughout the country, as Ohioans move to other parts of the US. In fact, among Hallmark's top ten buyers of Sweetest Day cards (after Ohioans), are the residents of Texas, California, and Florida.

Sweetest Day is October 19, 2013.

(Photo © istockphoto; Licensed to About, inc.)

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