Be mine

February 14, 2013 —

DMUheartYOU

It’s February 14 – Valentine’s Day. Smell the roses, nibble some chocolate and check out some fun facts about this love-filled day:

  • The origins of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for love date back to the Roman Empire, when the fertility festival Lupercalia was celebrated on Feb. 15.
  • Valentine’s Day cards originated in 1415 when Charles, duke of Orleans, sent several rhymed love letters to his wife in France while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
  • In 1537, Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday by Henry VIII (not exactly remembered as the most romantic guy in history).
  • In the Middle Ages, it was believed that meeting an unmarried person of the opposite sex on Valentine’s Day indicated marriage to that person in the future.
  • The first commercial Valentine appeared in the 1800s, and in 1866 the NECCO candy company made the first “Conversation Hearts” candies, then known as “Motto Hearts.”
  • Traditionally, it was believed that if a woman saw a robin flying on Valentine’s Day, she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a rich man.
  • Valentine’s Day ranks No. 1 among holidays with fresh flower purchases.
  • More than one million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually. One-fourth of those cards are humorous.

Whether you love this holiday or despise it, just know that DMU ‘hearts’ you!


With a deep love for her hometown, Nicole Branstad is pro-Des Moines and is constantly touting its many events and attractions. When she isn’t out exploring the city she likes to spend time with her husband Marcus and their son Everett. She enjoys hosting lavish dinner parties, collecting wine and buying fresh flowers at the downtown farmer’s market. Nicole works in the marketing & communications department as the online marketing-enrollment coordinator.