San Antonio is known for its celebrations. Much has been written about the pageantry and parades connected with the various civic and religious festivals held throughout the year. Other than a few newspaper articles and advertisements, there is little to tell us how Valentine’s Day was observed in the past.
These photographs from UTSA Special Collections provide glimpses of Valentine’s Day at various times in the 20th century. They show examples of both community and private ways that San Antonio residents chose to express their affection for each other.
MS 362: 085-0079: Valentine’s Day party at the home of Dr. and Mrs. John W. Kenney on Poplar Street in Tobin Hill, ca. 1910.
MS 359: L-1760-K: Roy Hardin and Mary Louise Casey receive their marriage license and a box of Valentine’s Day candy from S. H. Wernette, marriage license clerk, 1938.
MS 359: L-2891-F: Shirley Kneupper gives Ronald Burns a defense stamp Valentine during World War II, 1942.
MS 359: L-4457-A: Linda Long eats chocolate candy from a traditional heart-shaped box, 1953.
MS 360: E-0052-044: Second annual YMCA Valentine’s Day dance for senior citizens, 1979.
MS 360: E-0086-033: Maria Garcia with a handmade card for her mother, 1982.
MS 360: E-2-13-89: Heart-shaped piñatas outside a West Side store, 1989.