Valentines Day dates back to the ancient Romans, however Valentines Day in America really got its start in Kansas City.

The Valentines Day the Romans first celebrated was, well, a whole lot different than the candy, flowers and cupid-laden celebration of love and romance we know now. The Romans used to sacrifice goats and dogs and then whip the women with the hides. The women would even line up for this strange behavior in the belief that it would make them fertile. There was a lot of drunkenness... and blood. It wasn't very romantic at all.

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Over the years the holiday took on a sweeter tone, helped in large part by the writings of William Shakespeare. Hand made paper cards became popular in the middle ages throughout Britain and the rest of Europe.

Eventually Valentines Day made it to the new world. Kansas City to be precise, where the Hallmark Company began mass producing Valentines. The rest as they say, is history. As it turns out, if not for the success of the holiday in America, Hallmark itself may have been history.

Today, Valentines Day is a nearly 20 billion dollar holiday. The commercialization of Valentines Day spoiled things for many at the time. Some would say the mere existence of such a day spoils things now. One thing is sure though... Valentines Day is big business and it's here to stay. If you live in the good 'ol USA, you can thank Kansas City.