Valentine’s Day in Bloomington, 1925

Happy Valentine’s Day! When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of candy, cards, chocolate, and flowers. I also think about how restaurants often have dinner specials, highlighting a wine or special foods, all designed to enhance romance. Or that I could pick up a newspaper and see recipes for making an intimate dinner at home. And of course, I think of children and those Valentine’s Day cards that are available everywhere – always have to have enough for every child in the classroom!

But I wonder, has this always been true? What would it have been like to say, live in Bloomington in the early 20th century and celebrate Valentine’s Day? To answer this question, I decided to peruse the one of the local newspapers available at that time, the Bloomington Evening World from 1925 and see what I could learn about early 20th century Valentine’s Day celebrating.

The first advertisement for Valentine’s Day shows up on February 6 with an ad for “Valentine Tokens” at Wylie’s. The ad proclaims: “Sweethearts of every age and every preference will find a truly delightful assortment of Valentine’s here” with the added reassurance: “most of them inexpensive.” Not only that, Wylie’s entices us with the promise of a window display: “Our window will interest the kiddies.” Aside from that, one other small reference appears to Valentines for sale at The Fair Store.

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