What is Sweetest Day?

Some may think of Sweetest Day as one of those made up Hallmark type holidays, but there is actually a story behind what the day means and how it came about. It is observed on the third Saturday of October and it’s observance began in Cleveland in 1922. Herbert Birch Kingston, a candy company employee wanted to bring happiness into the lives of orphans, shut-ins, and others who were forgotten. Herbert was a philanthropist, and with the help of some friends, began to hand out candy and small gifts to the underprivileged.  A couple of movie stars of the time, Ann Pennington and Theda Bara joined in on the charity and the day grew in popularity. 

In the present day, it is more of a regional observance around the Great Lakes and the Northeast.  Ohio is actually the top state in Sweetest Day sales, followed by Michigan. Over the years, the day has evolved, and is now recognized as a day to express romantic love or appreciation to close friends. So remember the history when you, maybe, brush off the day as playing second fiddle to St. Valentines Day.

Reporting for WGRT, Mike Smith.