STUDIO CITY (CBS) — Struck by Cupid’s arrow?. . . but what does that really mean?
Kate Kelly stopped by the KCAL9 studios Tuesday to share the history behind Valentine’s Day. The holiday is the second largest holiday in terms of card-sending and the fourth largest in candy sales.
L.A. Valentine’s Day stories:
- Valentine’s Day 1886: first trainload of oranges left Southern California via the transcontinental railroad.
- Jack Benny born on this date in 1894. A true romantic even after his death, Benny (buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City, CA) arranged to have a single red rose delivered to his wife every day after he had passed.
- On Valentine’s Day 1929, the second “Brown Derby” opened at 1628 North Vine St in Hollywood (the first was opened at 3427 Wilshire in 1926). This second branch played the larger part in movie history, due to its proximity to the studios. For example, the first of the Hollywood episodes of “I Love Lucy” (episode “L.A. at Last”) featured Lucy, Ethel and Fred lunching here. During the episode, Eve Arden is in a booth on one side with William Holden on the other.The famous scene from this episode: Holden gets hit in the face with a pie by a waiter (which Lucy inadvertently causes). This Brown Derby was also the birthplace of the Cobb Salad. Sadly, this building was destroyed by fire in 1987.
- Valentine’s Day 1938: former silent film actress Hedda Hopper pens the first installment of what would become her tremendously influential gossip column in the Los Angeles Times.
- Clark Gable and Carole Lombard met in January 1936. The evening ended badly, so Gable thought he was done but Lombard had arranged for the hotel clerks to release doves in his room. When woke up he knew all was not lost. Lombard knew Gable loved fast cars, so on Valentine’s Day she had a beat-up Model T delivered to the MGM lot for him but it was now painted white with red hearts. A note on the steering wheel said “you’re driving me crazy!” Gable got her at her own game because he picked her up that night and drove to the car to the Trocadero, driving 10 miles per hour. Sadly Lombard died in a plane crash in 1942. She had been on a trip to sell war bonds and she was supposed to take a train home but so wanted to return to Clark Gable and Hollywood she switched to the fatal flight.
- The Reagans exchanged letters every year on Valentine’s Day; on Valentine’s Day in 1960, Ronald wrote to Nancy that being married to her was like having a “Valentine’s Life.”
- 1969: Elizabeth Taylor’s 50-carat pearl, known as La Peregrina, was once eaten by her pet dog (don’t worry – Taylor got the dog to spit it out!). Given to Taylor on Valentine’s Day in 1969 by Richard Burton, the pearl was part of a diamond and ruby necklace that recently sold at auction for $11.8 million.
The Meaning of Flowers:
- White roses: true love
- Red and pink: love and desire… passion
- Yellow: friendship
- Rose buds: youth
- Carnations: admiration and love
- Daisy: innocence and gentleness
- Forget-me-not … true love
For more Valentine’s Day tidbits, visit Kate Kelly online.