Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is the day that people show their love from their spouse or significant other. Valentine’s Day is associated with the times of Geoffrey Chaucer and later became the romance (and more importantly, chocolate) –filled day we know it to be starting from the 15th century.
What most people do NOT know is that St. Valentine’s Day originates as a Christian holiday commemorating the martyrdom of two saints, both called “Valentinus” or as we know them today, “Valentine”, who were both killed for practicing Christianity which was not looked highly upon by the Roman Empire. It doesn’t exactly give you that warm and fuzzy feeling, does it?
Valentine’s Day is full of lots of red hearts, love and hugs, but depending upon the year, it’s also been filled with some *ahem* unusual events that don’t really make you think “romantic” exactly. Here’s what we found:
- On this day in 1929, members of Al Capone’s South Side (Chicago) gang murdered five members of Bugs Moran’s North Side gang. The murder was in retaliation for the North Side’s participation in murder of two of Al Capone’s close associates. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre became one of the bloodiest and most notorious gang hits of the time. You can read more about it here in our St. Valentine’s Day Massacre historic newspaper.
- On February 14, 1945, the bombing of Dresden, Germany began on this day at the end of World War II. Thousands of people were killed and the events of this bombing were immortalized in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse-Five.
- In 1979, the American ambassador to Afghanistan is kidnapped and later killed in a shootout by militants.
- In 1981, the Stardust Nightclub fire killed 48 people in Dublin.
The AnyDate team wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day. If you are spending it with that someone special, then that’s great…but if not…we hope it is not as catastrophic as any of these events…