FEBRUARY 6, 1953
NEW YORK, Thursday—I received a brochure the other day, and though it was nothing more than a promotion story, it afforded me a certain amount of entertainment. It told me the history of St. Valentine's Day.
This history dates back to the 3rd Century A.D., when the known world of that time was under the rule of Emperor Claudius II.
A cleric, Valentinus, of Rome defied a Roman edict that had been issued, based on the belief that single men made the better soldiers. Therefore, the clergy was ordered not to marry young males. Valentinus, however, defied the Emperor. Whereupon the Emperor had him beheaded, which apparently was the custom of the day, and this execution was carried out on February 14.
Since that time the day has been celebrated in many ways. For centuries it was the most popular day of the year for weddings. The month of June was nowhere near as popular.
This promotion scheme, as you all must know, was designed to sell Valentine Day cards, and the idea is that it is the girls who really start many romances. Statistically, it is said that the marital question is prompted by the ladies 62 times out of 100, and that today girls are more direct in their approach to these romantic matters than ever before.
The cards look to me like a very direct and not-too-attractive approach, so I am very glad that while I can give you this bit of history I cannot tell you who makes the cards.
It is always nice to hear that a young friend is making good in new work. I received a notice recently from Portland, Ore., telling of two programs on the air locally out there—one in the morning, "Mary Cullen On The Air," and the one in the afternoon, "Mary Cullen's Open House."
Mary Cullen is not the young lady's real name. When I knew her in the East, while she had had some business training, she was completely engulfed in taking care of her two little girls. It is interesting to find that as they have grown older she has been able to develop a job that interests her and brings her a good income.
These young are constantly surprising to me. My niece, who spent the past weekend with me, has four small children, all under 10 and yet five days a week she studies art from 9 o'clock in the morning until 3 o'clock in the afternoon. On the sixth day, Saturday mornings, she teaches a class of 20 children in the Town Hall. When her children are ill, of course, she has to drop out of her classes, but, at other times, school for the older ones and nursery school for the youngest keeps them busy while she is away. And she still does all of her housework.
I am sure I could never have done as much in my young days, and my hat is off to every young housewife and mother today for the amount of work they do at home and sometimes out of the home. Even in these days when gadgets are a help nothing is a substitute for good, hard work.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1953, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 6, 1953
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
- Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
- Black, Allida M. (Editor)
- Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
- Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
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