Valentine’s Day 2019

Celebrating Valentine’s Day Today

February has rolled around again, and Valentine’s Day is near. Many of us use this time to create or buy something special for those who are important to us. Cards, candy, and flowers especially! The United States hasn’t always celebrated Valentine’s Day and there has been some debate as to the origins of this modern-day holiday.

Many scholars attribute the name Valentine’s Day to a Roman priest named Valentine. Roman Emperor Claudius II felt that married men made bad soldiers and forbade those in his army to marry. Valentine felt this was an unjust ruling, so he married couples in secret. When Emperor Claudius II found out, he had the priest thrown in jail and killed. The legend continues that while in jail, before he was killed, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of one of the jailers, and prior to his death he sent her a love note saying, “from your Valentine.”

There are various other holidays that were celebrated long ago during the month of February that have been associated with Valentine’s Day including a pagan Roman holiday called Lupercalia. At the end of the 5th century, the Catholic Church banned Lupercalia and named February 14th St. Valentine’s Day, however love sentiments were not exchanged as a part of that date for some time. Great Britain was probably the first country to celebrate our modern Valentine’s Day, exchanging cards and letters in the early 1700’s. Today Valentine’s Day celebrated in the US, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.

Vintage Valentine Inspiration
a vintage valentine with lace and a picture.

Our current practice of exchanging cards and gifts in the US can probably be traced to a woman named Esther A. Howland and a man from Great Britain named Richard Cadbury. Howland began selling the first mass produced Valentine’s Day cards in America. She used real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures called ‘scrap’ in her cards and placed messages of love inside. She is known as the ‘Mother of the Valentine.’ Cadbury came up with the idea of selling bite-sized chocolates packaged in heart shaped boxes. Candy and cards remain the biggest Valentine’s Day gifts to this day.

 

 

Box of Chocolates
Cadbury with Love

Our other favorite Valentine candy, the candy hearts, were made in the early 1900’s. Made by a company called Necco in Massachusetts, candy hearts have evolved from fairly large heart shaped candies with longer sayings like, “Married in White, you have chosen right” to the small candies we are familiar with today. With less space, the sayings had to become shorter as well to things like “Miss You” or “Love U.”

Necco Hearts
Classic Necco Conversation Hearts

However you celebrate Valentine’s Day, we can all agree that a day devoted to expressing our love for one another can only be a good thing. Later this week we will be sharing some of our favorite Valentine’s crafts for you to try with your family or to make that special card for your loved one.

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Meet a Presenter – Backyard Adventures

Adventure is everywhere when you are learning!

When young Liam Finn McCool began to show an interest in science his mother encouraged him by taking the time to explain in depth why something was the way it was. How does a flower create seeds? How does a volcanic eruption works? How were the people of Pompei frozen in time during the eruption in the first century of the Current Era? She recognized that even at the young age of three, Liam was interested in learning and would absorb information. So, she painstakingly took the time to explain in detail answers to his questions believing that what she was really doing was telling him that his interest was legitimate. She was right.

By five, Liam had begun sharing videos on YouTube where he gave information about different spiders and insects that he found in his backyard. Backyard Adventures with Liam Finn McCool had officially begun. Last Global Learn Day, inspired by videos his mother showed him, he asked if he could participate. They reached out to me and I said, “Of Course”. The result was this gem.

Liam loves the camera and he will learn more about any given topic if he knows that he gets to share that information with the world later on. Inspiring young learners always depends on the individual. What inspires a drive to learn for one child may do nothing for the next. As we go through Global Learn Day and enjoy presentations from around the world, we invite you to consider how to best encourage the children around you to love learning.

Liam is proof that it is never to early to begin sharing knowledge. At six years old, he is an educator and our youngest Global Learn Day Presenter. Recently, he launched his own website and this year he will be sharing another great video of a Backyard Adventure that he filmed for our event.

Liam is well on his way to being a Life Long Learner! Way to go, kid!

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