Did You Know? Fun Valentine's Day Facts - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Did You Know? Fun Valentine's Day Facts

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Love & romance are in the air, florists and chocolatier are seeing one of their busiest days of the year and Cupid is probably out and about with his arrows in downtown Tulsa.

But how did it all get started?

Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine, but the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman, named Valentine, who used to secretly marry couples in ancient Rome -- and was executed for it on Feb. 14th.

In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius I officially declared Feb. 14th as Valentine's Day.

Centuries later, Massachusetts native Esther Howland starts selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s.

And the holiday as we know it, was born.

Now, about 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged in the U.S. each year, according to stvalentinesday.org.

Some more fun facts from the site:

Richard Cadbury (name sound familiar?) invented the first Valentines Day candy box in the late 1800s.

California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine's Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America.

The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine's Day.

And talk about puppy love -- about 3% of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets.

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