Sweetest Day founders

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Sweetest Day (the third Saturday in October) is not a second Valentine’s Day. It has its own unique and rightful origins.

By Mitch Allen

According to a special Sweetest Day section published in the October 2, 1921, edition of the Plain Dealer, the eight gentlemen who spearheaded the first Sweetest Day were these members of the 1921 “Sweetest Day in the Year” committee (see the full story).

• Jay Lee Cross, The Cross Candy Co.
• Raleigh S. Fuller, candy factory sales manager
• Louis. C. Hahn, Nimberger, Hahn, Co.
• Carleton C. Hartzell, confectionery manager
• A. A. Jirouch, Nimberger, Hahn, Co.
• R. W. Phelps, son of John H. Phelps, president of The J. H. Phelps Co., also a candy company
• Stouder Thompson, Sykes & Thompson Candy Company
• Edgar G. Winger, Winger’s Cut Rate Drug Store


After the inaugural Sweetest Day, the 1921 Interstate Druggist bulletin gave a shout-out to Carleton Hartzell and to Edgar Winger, the chairman of the publicity committee, for the campaign’s success, declaring, “All of Cleveland knows what was accomplished.”

It is believed that the promotion was organized by Cleveland advertising executive Herbert Birch Kingston.