History for Kids!
The Story of Valentine's Day!
A long time ago in the Roman Empire (in Rome, Italy) there was a man named Valentine who was a bishop in the Catholic Church. At this time, the emperor of Rome did not like Christians living in his empire. When the emperor found out that Valentine was a Christian, he made Valentine answer some questions. The emperor listened to what Valentine had to say about his religion and started to agree with Valentine. But the emperor’s friends told him not to listen to Valentine and to put him in jail. So, Valentine went to jail.
While he was in jail, Valentine would secretly let other Christians get married. Another time, Valentine cured the daughter of the man who ran the jail where Valentine was. The daughter of the man was blind, but then Valentine let her see again. After she could see, Valentine wrote his new friend a letter that said, “from your Valentine.”
Remember that Valentine went to jail because he was a Christian. After spending some time in jail and on the date of February 14, the Roman Emperor’s men killed Valentine.
After Valentine died, people started to celebrate and remember him on February 14. After many years, more people around the world started to send their family and friends cards that would say “love your Valentine” or “from your Valentine.” Your mom and dad may also go out to dinner or buy flowers, chocolates and other presents. This is why you may give your friends or mom and dad a card on Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is a fun day with family and friends and reminds us that we are loved and that we love others. But don’t forget that it is named for a man who lived a long time ago named Valentine. He also loved many people in Rome and was loved by many people there.
Valentine’s Day Poem
Valentines of pink and red
Special words of kindness said.
Small surprises, funny jokes,
Paper hearts and pretty notes.
The best part of this Valentine’s Day,
Is that I get the chance to say,
Today and for the whole year, too,
I love having a friend like you!
The Story of Groundhog Day!
A very long time ago, ancient people called the Celts lived in Germany and they wanted to know what the weather would be like for the rest of the winter. They wanted to know if spring would come earlier or if it would be a longer winter. They needed to know this because they had to plant their crops, which is how they made money and were able to eat. These people thought that hedgehogs were very smart animals and would be able to tell whether or not spring would come early or not.
About midway through the winter (around the beginning of February), the Celts would wake up the hedgehog. On that day, if it was cloudy out then the hedgehog would not see its shadow and winter would end soon. If it was a sunny day, then the hedgehog would see its shadow and spring would come a little later.
In the 1700s, many people from Germany came to America and went to live in Pennsylvania. Even in America, they wanted to know if winter would end early or not. They couldn’t find too many hedgehogs in Pennsylvania, but there were many cousins to the hedgehogs called groundhogs.
In the year 1886 in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day was celebrated at Gobblers Knob with the famous Punxsutawney Phil waking up from his slumber to see his shadow or not. Every February 2, Phil tells all his friends and now the whole world whether or not winter would be longer or if we will have an early spring. That is the story of Groundhog Day!
For more information go to groundhog.org
Groundhog Day Poem by Kathleen M. Hollenbeck
Sleepy little groundhog,
we have long been told,
you will leave your cozy den
to come out in the cold.
If you see your shadow,
wintertime will stay.
If the sky is cloudy, though,
then spring is on the way!