American Greetings did not invent Sweetest Day, but a Clevelander did

How the October holiday got its sugary start

American Greetings did not invent Sweetest Day, but a Clevelander did
Sweetest Day is credited to a Cleveland candy maker back in 1922, but has grown to way more than sweets.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -There is a internet-based debate about the origins of Sweetest Day but we know this for sure, according to American Greetings who often gets blamed, “We had nothing to do with it.”

American Greetings did not invent Sweetest Day, but a Clevelander did

The likely origin, and most sited, is that it was created by Clevelander Herbert Birch Kingston who was a candy maker in 1922.

Kingston is credited with started it all by giving candy to orphans and the less fortunate in Cleveland.

According to Retail Confectioners International (RCI) “With the help of friends and neighbors, he distributed these small remembrances on a Saturday in October. For years to follow, other Clevelanders began to participate in the tradition, which came to be known as Sweetest Day.”

It continued for years and but was mostly only popular in Midwest cities including Detroit and Buffalo.

“In time, the idea of spreading cheer to the underprivileged broadened to include everyone from family and significant others to coworkers and acquaintances with a kind act or a small remembrance," according to RCI. “With a little help from movie stars in the 1930s, the idea quickly spread to other cities all over the country.”

Locally, and presently, Dan Malley of Malley’s Chocolates said the message for is pretty sweet that will be celebrated this Saturday Oct. 20.

“To me, it is a nice little holiday to say ‘Thank you’ to anyone who might have help you throughout the year,” Malley said.

Malley also said they see a little bump in business but nothing that would compare to Christmas, Easter or Valentine’s Day.

They may not have invented it but the card company American Greetings said they do benefit from it.

“While Ohio, Michigan and Illinois remain the top states for Sweetest Day sales, Texas, California and Florida are now listed among the top 10 states celebrating the holiday," according the company. “Herbert Birch Kingston, often referred to as the founder of Sweetest Day, based the holiday on the premise that no matter how hectic life gets, it’s important to stop and spread cheer to not only the ill and disadvantaged, but also to friends, family, and loved ones who bring joy to daily life.”

The first Sweetest Day was in 1921 in Cleveland.

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Monday, October 15, 2018

Based on comments from the Cleveland 19 Facebook post some still are not convinced about the origins.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.