February 14, 2021
The oldest recorded written valentine dates back to a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, in 1415. He wrote to wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London.
In the U.S., exchanging valentines is thought to have started in the 1700s, but in 1840, the tradition really took off with Massachusetts-based artist Esther A. Howland. Known as the "Mother of Valentine," she made holiday-themed greeting cards with lace, ribbons, and colorful pictures.