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Sweetest Day

The third Saturday in October is right around the corner and that, of course, is Sweetest Day.

Organized right here in Cleveland in 1922 Sweetest Day is now celebrated nationwide. Sweetest Day began as a way of spreading some sweet-cheer to people during the Depression.

Area confectioners wrapped up their candy and gave it to the orphanages and poor houses. Philanthropist Herbert Birch Kingston was an employee of a candy company and he and his friends were the first to pass out the treats to the underprivileged.

Over two thousand Cleveland newspaper boys received candy from movie star Ann Pennington as a thank you for their hard work. When Theda Bara came to town she distributed over ten thousand boxes of chocolates to area hospitals. She also gave treats to everyone who came to see her film.

Now it has become a day akin to Valentine's Day - a day when people show a token of love or admiration with either a bit of candy or a small gift.

It's popularity has grown to the point that Hallmark has increased it's selection of Sweetest Day cards from 48 in 2000 to 142 in 2004.

To learn more about Sweetest Day traditions right here in Cleveland read our profile of Adelle and Bill Malley and see how Bill Malley is trying to keep the true meaning of Sweetest Day alive.

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