I enjoy chocolate and politics, but I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Therefore, I decided to share some history that combines the first two topics with the commercialized holiday instead of sharing my chocolate.
An illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star Feb. 14, 1907, and depicted Valentine’s Day surprises based on then-current political issues, including tariffs, congressional staff salaries and defense-related matters.
A second illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star Feb. 14, 1912, and offered humorous Valentine’s Day cards placing major political figures at the time in positions then difficult to imagine. A look at the cards show topis that remain at issue today, including politicians who love themselves more than anything else, an out-of-control judiciary, campaign promises and even the word, insurgent, in 1912!
A third illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman appeared in the Washington Evening Star Feb. 14, 1917, and depicted Woodrow Wilson’s confirmed re-election coming in the form of a Valentine’s Day card.
A 1918 Valentine, courtesy of the Hoover Presidential Library, referred to the World War I effort to economize on food for the war effort—called “Hooverizing” in honor of then-U.S. Food Administrator Herbert Hoover.
The graphics above, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration website, make the presidents of a century ago seem pretty tame compared to the modern-day knuckleheads who’ve held the nation’s highest office.
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