♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ February 14 ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡

You do know what day this is, don’t you? Are you prepared to properly celebrate this day? Today is the anniversary of Oregon’s admission into the Union. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859, 8½ years after California and 30½ years before Washington.

Fun Facts for Black History Month:

Oregon was admitted as a free state, a tradeoff with the South that allowed slavery in the southwestern states.

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Not a problem for Oregon, as its original constitution contained a “whites only” clause. The Oregon Territory had outlawed slavery in 1844, with its Black Exclusion Law. As the name implies, African-Americans were not allowed into the territory. Slave owners were given three years to free them. Black persons who did not leave were arrested and given at least twenty, but no more than thirty-nine lashes across their bare backs. The process was repeated after six months for anyone found still in the state.

  • The Black Exclusion Law was repealed in 1925.
  • An amendment to the Oregon Constitution in 1927 allowed Blacks to vote.
  • Interracial marriage was legalized in 1951.

(Additional but only tenuously related Fun Fact: The University of Oregon was founded in 1872; Blue Ribbon Sports, precursor to Nike, was founded in 1964.)

If you are curious about that Valentine guy, here’s his story.

St. Valentine

Were you wondering if St. Valentine was a real person? Valentinus was a  priest in Rome during the third century. He was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius. Apparently irrepressible, Valentinus attempted to convert the emperor, for which he was sentenced to death. He was beaten and stoned, then beheaded, in the year 269. He was buried on  the Flaminian Way, north of Rome, purportedly on February 14.

St. Valentine is the patron saint of engaged couples, happy marriages, lovers. If that’s not enough, he is also patron of beekeepers, travelers, epilepsy and plague!

For more about St. Valentine, check out the Catholic version and the Wikipedia entry.