All About Sweetest Day in Ohio

A National Holiday Founded in Cleveland

Romantic dinner for two
Serge Krouglikoff/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Sweetest Day, observed on the third Saturday of October, was started in Cleveland in 1922 by candy employee and philanthropist, Herbert Birch Kingston as a way to give something or do something nice to those less fortunate than ourselves. Originally called "The Sweetest Day of the Year," Sweetest Day has evolved into a romantic holiday, similar to Valentine's Day.


The first Sweetest Day came out of one man's desire to do something "sweet" for Cleveland's orphans and unfortunate residents. With the help of movie stars, Theda Bara and Ann Pennington, Herbert Birch Kingston, delivered thousands of boxes of candy throughout the city. Begun in 1922, the holiday, observed on the third Saturday of each month, became popular during the bleak economic times of the Great Depression.

Sweetest Day Today

Although it started as a regional holiday, Clevelanders have taken the custom with them as they moved around the country. Today, Ohio still tops the list in sales of Sweetest Day cards, but other states on the top ten list include California, Texas, and Florida. Over the years, the holiday has evolved into a day to celebrate romantic love, similar to Valentine's Day.

What to Do for Sweetest Day

Typical Sweetest Day activities include going out to dinner and sipping wine at a special restaurant or giving chocolates, flowers or greeting cards. Indeed anything "special" is an apt gift or activity for Sweetest Day.

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