Valentine's Day in the 1950's was much different than it is in today's world.  It certainly was not the highly commercialized event of today.

In the 1950's Valentine's Day was a highly anticipated event of all younger school aged children.  Several weeks before Valentine's Day, teachers gave out a list of the names of all classmates  to every student in the class. In most schools, every student was required to give everyone in the classroom a valentine.  This rule was strictly enforced by those  teachers so no student would ever be left out.  Most valentines were purchased at the local five and dime, however some were handcrafted.

Activities usually began the week before Valentines Day.  In some schools the teacher brought in a large cardboard box which the students decorated with wrapping paper, red hearts, paper doilies and ribbon.  The box was then put in a prominent place in the classroom on Valentines' Day.  Students were told to put all of their valentine cards in that box in preparation for the class party.  On the big day, the teacher usually stood by the box and called out the student's name receiving each valentine. 

In some grade schools, students brought in decorated boxes they had made at home. These were often shoe boxes that were decorated with colored hearts, construction paper, lace paper doilies, etc.  They were made with a slit in the top for their classmates to drop their valentines into the box.  The students placed them on the front top of their desks so their classmates could walk by and place their valentine in the box.  Sometimes, students would include tiny Brachs conversation hearts with their valentines.

Following handing out the valentines, the much anticipated Valentine's party began.   The party always consisted of cupcakes and cookies made by different volunteer mother's of the class.  

Today it is highly unlikely most schools are permitted to have Valentine parties due to the fear of offending other cultures.  It is also quite likely they would be facing reprisal from the ACLU and other such organizations.


Page Created 1/29/20