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History Unraveled: A Valentine from Space.

Most of us in any kind of relationship with another human being already has Valentine’s Day on the radar – memo to self…don’t forget the card, the e-card, the text with gif, the chocolates, the dinner reservation, etc.

The origins of this celebration of love goes back to the 3rd Century in the person of a Roman priest named Valentine. He was jailed and sentenced to death for not renouncing his faith but also for secretly marrying couples. The priest Valentine was thoroughly beaten, stoned and beheaded, fulfilling one of the requisites for sainthood.

Legend has it… that while in prison Valentine befriended his jailor’s blind daughter and read to her.

Legend has it (don’t you love that sturdy indefensible?) that while in prison Valentine befriended his jailor’s blind daughter and read to her. The story goes that before the priest was dragged off to be killed he left a note for the little girl signed, “Your friend, Valentine.” Her sight was miraculously restored and she was able to read the message for herself. Valentine went on to become a Saint. And we carried on exchanging Valentines.

Sagan suggested that as the spacecraft exited our solar system on February 14

Let’s update this holiday and turn to Astrophysicist Carl Sagan’s love letter to earth. As an advisor to the 1990 Voyager 1 mission, Sagan suggested that as the spacecraft exited our solar system on February 14, it turns towards earth and send us a snapshot. In it Earth appears as less than a pixel in size, which he famously referred to as the pale blue dot. You can Google that image but there’s not much to see, mostly space. Sagan reminded us that this dust speck in a shaft of sunlight is our home. This image should make us question the violent struggles of governments to destroy civilizations and the very web of life for momentary riches in our hiccup of time. Planet earth could really use some love right now – it is practically begging all humanity – won’t you be my valentine?

Planet earth could really use some love right now – it is practically begging all humanity – won’t you be my valentine?

If you are looking to escape the winter blues, call us at 304-645-3398 or e-mail marketing@greenbrierhistorical.org to schedule your escape room experience! The North House Museum is located beside Carnegie Hall and New River Community & Technical College at 814 Washington St. W. in downtown Lewisburg.

– Toni Ogden, HashtagWV 139. February 2022.

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