1. The first valentine was sent in the 15th century.
The oldest record of a valentine being sent, according to History.com, was a poem written by a French medieval duke named Charles to his wife in 1415. Charles penned this sweet note to his lover while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London at just 21 years old. One of the lines in the poem? “I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine.” Swoon!
2.Americans send 145 million Valentine’s Day cards each year.
Which makes it the second biggest holiday for exchanging greeting cards, after Christmas! And how sweet: Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards annually, followed by children, mothers, and wives. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way from 1913, which was when Hallmark Cards produced their first Valentine’s card!
3.And they also spend nearly $650 million on gifts for their pets.
Hey, furry friends need love, too! In fact, more than 5 million American households gave Valentine’s Day presents to their pet dogs last year, and more than 2 million picked up presents for their cats. But even though more Americans buy gifts for their dogs, people actually spend more on their pet kitties — an average of about $96 per household, compared to $81 for dogs!
4.The first heart-shaped box of chocolates was introduced in 1861.
It was created by Richard Cadbury, son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury, who started packaging chocolates in fancy boxes to increase sales. He introduced the first heart-shaped box of chocolates for V-Day in 1861, and today, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold each year. That’s 58 million pounds of chocolate!
5.More than 8 billion conversation hearts are manufactured each year.
And Necco has to start making them just days after February 14 to have enough in time for the next Valentine’s Day. That’s almost 100,000 pounds per day! Each box has approximately 45 sayings — including “True Love,” “Hug Me,” and “You Rock” — but you can personalize your own, too. But don’t worry if you still have last year’s box — they have a shelf life of five years.