The Sweetest Day of The Year

I’m sorry, I’m being told today is actually Sweetest Day. I regret the error.

On this day … steal enough time from the turmoil of routine affairs, to bring a bit of good cheer to those you love.” — full-page ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, promoting the 2nd annual celebration of Sweetest Day, October 8, 1922

Today is Sweetest Day, a holiday invented right here in Cleveland, Ohio, celebrated annually on the third Saturday in October, mostly in the American Midwest.

Sweetest Day’s origins are murky. Initially, it was created by Cleveland area candy manufacturers to sell candy, more or less — an advertising supplement in the Cleveland Plain Dealer promoting the relatively new holiday earnestly declared, “Scientists say man can walk mile on power furnished by one ordinary caramel.”

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1922

After several years, however, a story emerged that the day was really intended to remember people who might be alone, or unappreciated (by buying them candy, naturally). And many years after that, it seemed to morph into a romantic holiday for couples.

Front-page cartoon by editorial cartoonist James H. Donahey, published in the Plain Dealer, October 8, 1921, the first Sweetest Day. / Digital scan courtesy of The Cleveland Public Library Microform Center, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Plain Dealer editorial cartoonist James H. Donahey commemorated the very first Sweetest Day with a front page cartoon.

And for the last few years, I’ve drawn something to accompany Mr. KellyKomics’ Sweetest Day candy (as shown above). This year’s chocolate came from the Cleveland Chocolate Company, an award-winning bean-to-bar artisan chocolate maker located here in the 216.

Because my husband is the sweetest.

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