Expressing one’s affection to another is a celebrated custom on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), suggests U.S. Census Bureau.
Sweethearts and family members present gifts to one another, such as cards, candy, flowers and other symbols of affection.
Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine, but the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome.
In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine’s Day. Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards in the 1840s.
The custom continues today with even young children exchanging Valentine’s Day cards with their fellow classmates.
According to the Census Bureau, 1,364 U.S. manufacturing establishments produced primarily chocolate and cocoa products in 2014, employing 42,043 people. California led the nation with 151 of these establishments, followed by New York with 119.
The Bureau also reveals that 493 U.S. establishments manufactured primarily nonchocolate confectionary products in 2014. These establishments employed 19,213 people. California led the nation in this category also with 58 establishments.
Photo courtesy: U.S. Census Bureau
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