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Building a Brand: 1930s – 50s

The burgeoning brand solidified its position in American history in 1944 with nine simple words. One of the most recognized slogans in advertising, “When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best,” was born from a three-by-five-inch notecard. Ed Goodman, a sales and marketing executive at Hallmark, jotted down his thoughts on what Hallmark stood for – caring, quality, the best.

Pictured at right, the Hallmark Hall of Fame debuted on Christmas Eve 1951, with the world premiere of Amahl and the Night Visitors, an original opera by Gian Carlo Menotti. 

In 1951, NBC approached Hallmark about sponsoring the first original opera created especially for television, Amahl and the Night Visitors. J.C. Hall decided to sponsor the program to thank all the people who bought Hallmark cards.

The opera aired on Christmas Eve and moved viewers to send thousands of letters, cards, and telegrams thanking Hallmark for presenting it. This would be the first in a series of specials that would become the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

In the more than 60 years since, Hallmark Hall of Fame productions have won 81 Emmy Awards. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has presented two Emmy Awards to Hallmark as a sponsor.

By the time the company name was officially changed from Hall Brothers to Hallmark Cards, Inc. in 1954, the tradition of entrepreneurship and innovation started by J.C. Hall was deeply ingrained.