History of the Sweetest Day
October 8, 1921 marked the first Sweetest Day Cleveland, Ohio. This day was planned by a 12-man committee of confectioners, which was chaired by candy maker C. C. Hartzell. The committee, with help from leading movie stars of the time including Ann Pennington and Theda Bara, distributed more than 20,000 boxes of candy to orphans, older folks, and the less fortunate.
Several attempts were made to bring a “Sweetest Day” to New York City starting with a declaration of Candy Day across the U.S. by candy manufacturers on October 8, 1922. In 1937, the National Confectioners Association tried to rank the Sweetest Day with holidays such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. On October 19, 1940 more than 10,000 candy boxes were distributed among 26 local charities by the Sweetest Day Committee, marking another Sweetest Day.
Today the Sweetest Day is always observed on the third Saturday of October, and is most commonly celebrated in the Great Lakes region. Similar to Valentine’s Day the popular gifts that are given are candy, cards, and flowers with a wide-range of recipients including coworkers, family, friends, and romantic loved ones.