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FEB. 14; IT'S JUST AHEAD Planning to remember that special someone with flowers this Valentine's Day? According to the Bureau of the Census (citing 1996 data, the latest available), 26,728 shops across the US are in the florist business - not counting lone operators who peddle roses by the roadside out of the backs of station wagons. On the other hand, if you'll be buying candy instead, Census Bureau data show it's most likely to have come from Pennsylvania or New York, which have more producers of sweet confections than any other state.

PUTTING IT IN WRITING By the way, there are definite rules, experts say, for how to - and how not to - express your feelings in words on Valentine's Day. Among the dos: write in your own hand, not e-mail; keep it to two pages; use humor. One major don't: getting the recipient's eye or hair color wrong.

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Millennium's most important people, voted by historians As in a survey of important people of the 20th century - reported yesterday in this space - the United States Historical Society has developed this list of most important people of the second millennium through a survey of history departments at 150 colleges and universities. Three of those on the top 15 list of century greats - Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and Sigmund Freud - also made the millennium elite. The society's 15 most important people between 1000 and the present (in alphabetical order):

Winston Churchill

Christopher Columbus


Charles Darwin

Albert Einstein

Sigmund Freud

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Johann Gutenberg

Thomas Jefferson

Abraham Lincoln

Martin Luther

Isaac Newton

Napoleon Bonaparte

William Shakespeare

Otto von Bismarck

George Washington

- PR Newswire

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