February 12, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 74  

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A brief history featuring love, romance and sweet nothings

By Lorraine Forster
Gazette Staff

Meghan Hart/Gazette
HERE I AM, CUFFED IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU. There are many accessories that can help you turn this Valentine’s Day into a memorable one.

Many of you may moan and groan at the thought of Feb. 14, but lets face it, we all love being loved!

According to psychology professor Lorne Campbell, Valentine’s Day still holds a lot of significance, even if you are single. “ [We] still have a lot of important relationships in our lives; you can still focus on other love relationships.”

As for those in relationships, Campbell says Valentine’s Day is the one time partners can at least be with each other. With all the stresses of our busy schedules, V-day allows us to set aside one special night to devote completely to the one we love, he says, noting this can also lead to unrealistic expectations. “I kind of like the idea that we take the time out to recognize love relationships,” he adds.

There are actually many speculations about the origins of Valentine’s Day. One prominent legend says Valentine was serving as a priest during third century Rome when Emperor Claudius outlawed marriage for young men and ordered them to become soldiers instead. Valentine saw this as an unjust decree and continued to marry young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, Claudius ordered him to be put to death.

Another legend contends it was in fact Valentine himself who sent the first “valentine” card. It is believed that while he was in jail, Valentine befriended the jailor’s daughter. Before he died, he sent her a farewell note, signed, “From your Valentine.”

The act of sending and receiving valentines is one of the most well known V-day traditions, but are you aware of the others? For example, in Medieval times, young men and women drew names from a bowl to determine who their valentines would be. After they chose, they wore the name on their sleeve for week.

Also, we all know the childhood game where you twist the stem of an apple while thinking of the names of boys/girls that you know. According to legend, you become destined to marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem broke. Along the same lines, if you cut the apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, it will predict the number of children you and your happy new spouse will have.

While the absolute origins of Valentine’s Day are not fully clear it’s still a day of love.

—with files from



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