– One legend has it that Valentine’s Day originated to commemorate St. Valentine’s death in 270 A.D. The Roman clergyman was executed Feb. 14 for secretly marrying couples in difiance of the emperor. According to others the legend began as a Roman fertility festival. Americans probably began exchanging homemade valentines in the early 1700s.
– 191 million – the number of Valentine’s Day cards exchanged every year, making it the second-greatest holiday for giving greating cards behind Christmas.
– 2.2 million – the number of marriages that take place in the United States annually. That’s about 8,000 per day.
– 25.8 and 27.4 – the estimated U.S. median ages for the first marriages for woman and men, respectively, in 2004. The age for woman rose 4.7 years and men 4.3 years in the last three decades.
– Men purchase 73 percent of all flowers sold during the Valentine’s Day, However, 15 percent of woman send themselves flowers for the holiday.
– President Martin Van Buren (1807), aviator Amelia Earhart (1931), Actors Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid (1991) and Beach Boy founder Brian Wilson (1994) are among those who married on Valentine’s Day.
Sources Hallmark and U.S. Census Bureau