For our local area of the Midwest, Sweetest Day is a holiday in October that is dreaded by some and forgotten by most. Even though it seems like a mimic to the larger, well known Valentine's Day, Sweetest Day has a more broad and charity driven meaning.
Originally the reserved October holiday was designed by the National Confectioners' Association in 1916. The scope was for a strict marketing campaign to sell candy and called it Candy Day. Although the plans were arranged in May 1916, the idea did not get traction and ended up being a bust. In 1917 worldly events caused a distraction and in 1918, World War I had begun which canceled the holiday altogether.
Then in 1921, a guy by the name of Herbert Birch Kingston, from Cleveland, Ohio, remembered Candy Day but wanted to use it to show kindness after the first World War. Kingston was the President of an advertising company called Kingston Co. Using his network, he reached out to eight Cleveland confectioners and formed the "Sweetest Day of the Year" committee.
The "Sweetest Day of the Year" committee organized the first Sweetest Day holiday on October 8, 1921. Members gave out thousands of boxes of candy to kids in orphanages, senior citizen homes, theatres, and to newsboys. Their mission was to bring happiness to everyone. Apart of those handing out candy were silent movie stars Ann Pennington and Theda Bara which made the day of receiving candy even better.
Today, while it has come to be a day that is either forgotten or a miniature prelude to Valentine's Day and whether it be a small gesture of a smile or a tiny gift like chocolate bar, it should be reflected as simply spreading joy to those around. We like the heart and motives that were placed on this day and want to wish all a joyous Sweetest Day!