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Sweetest Day 2012: Meaning and History of the Sweet Holiday on October 20

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Oct 20, 2012 02:34 PM EDT

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Sweetest Day 2012 has arrived. People around the Great Lakes region and the country are celebrating the event as they give sweets to their loved ones. Sweetest Day may sound like another Hallmark Holiday, but surprisingly, it isn't. The day has a long history starting in the 1920's.

Sweetest Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of October by giving candy and other sweets to loved ones. It isn't like Valentine's Day, as it isn't intended to celebrate romance. Sweetest day celebrates those that sometimes feel forgotten and those who have shown kindness, but some still celebrate the day with their sweethearts.

In 1922 in Cleveland, a candy store employee,Herbert Birch Kingston, wanted to bring cheer to those that often feel forgotten such as orphans and the elderly. With the help of friends, he would bring candy and other gifts to ophanages, those who were ill and others, according to Sweetestday.com. Other sources claim it was candymaker CC Hartzell that would distribute candy to orphans, the elderly, poor people and newsboys.

Movie stars soon started to celebrate the day. Actress Ann Pennington gave 2,200 boxes of candy to newspaper boys to show her gratitude. Theda Bara gave 10,000 boxes of candy to people in hospitals and same who came to see her film at the Playhouse Square Theater in Cleveland, Ohio, accoding to Sweetestday.com.

Sweetest Day soon became popular throughout Cleveland and it was declared that it would be celebrated every third Saturday in October. It is now celebrated in the Great Lakes region and the northeast, but some have taken the tradition to other areas as they learn about this sweet holiday. Cities like Chicago, Buffalo and Detroit also celebrate the day.

Although it wasn't started by Hallmark, the card company does make greeting cards for the occassion. American Greetings also has Sweetest Day cards for people to give to their loved ones.

According to a survey cited by News Net, 44 percent of people think Sweetest Day was created by a card company.

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