Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yes, but besides Valentine's Day, what is Thursday?

You may be feeling like an unworthy sinner today on Ash Wednesday, but you'll really be penitent tomorrow if you forget St. Valentine's Day -- which is strange, really, because, according to Wikipedia, the Catholic Church more or less has forgotten the St. Valentine whose feast day was February 14 (there are, the article tells us, "about 11 other" St. Valentines in the calendar of the Roman Church, but none with a feast day on February 14). The possibly apocryphal St. Valentine, the one who may have been martyred on February 14, A.D. 269, is still approved by the Catholic Church for "local veneration" -- a definite downgrade -- but he remains firmly established in the calendars of the Anglican and Lutheran churches on February 14.

Legal Disclaimer: The Blog of Days is unconditionally not responsible for any bodily injury or property damage that may (and probably would) result if you tell your sweetie that you don't have to buy flowers or candy today because there's doubt over whether St. Valentine ever existed.

We also wouldn't advise trying to weasel out of getting a present for your valentine tomorrow because you just hate to spend money on the birthday of America's favorite miser, Jack Benny.

But Thursday will be the 39th birthday -- again -- of Jack Benny, born in Chicago, Illinois (as Benjamin Kubelsky) on February 14, 1894. (Benny grew up in north suburban Waukegan and is more commonly associated with that town.)

The list of alternatives to Valentine's Day is lengthy -- and most of them have Valentine tie-ins anyway. Thus, Thursday is also National Organ Donor Day, National Have A Heart Day, National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day, National Call In Single Day, and (so much for romance) National Condom Day.

On the other hand, there's no obvious Valentines tie-in for Frederick Douglass Day, League of Women Voters Day, or Library Lovers Day. Yet these will also be observed on Thursday.

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