Mother’s Day: How a daughter made her mom’s wish come true
Mother’s Day in the US
- The celebrations of Mother’s Day in the US date back to the 19th century when Ann Reeves Jarvis from West Virginia helped in establishing “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” in the years before the Civil war.
- The clubs aimed to teach women how to take care of their kids.
- Jarvis started “Mother’s Friendship Day” in 1868 to promote reunion between former Union and Confederate soldiers.
Origins of Mother’s Day
- The origins of Mother’s Day date back to the Romans and Ancient Greeks who used to celebrate goddess Rhea and Cybele during the spring festival.
- In UK and Ireland, “Mothering Sunday” is being celebrated since the Middle Ages.
- Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, it slowly turned into a secular holiday and became Mother’s Day.
Jarvis condemned the commercialization of Mother’s Day
- Initially, Jarvis worked to make the day popular.
- President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother’s Day a national annual observance in the United States in 1914.
- However, she was deeply hurt after big corporations commercialized the day.
- She urged people not to buy Mother’s Day flowers, cards, and chocolates.
- She rejected the holiday by 1948 and wanted the government to remove it from the calendars.
Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day
- Anna Jarvis, Ann Reeves Jarvis’s daughter, is considered the founder of Mother’s Day.
- She worked hard to fulfill her mother’s wish of having a memorial day dedicated to all the mothers for their “matchless service.”
- She organized the first Mother’s Day celebration in May 1908.
- By 1912, it became an annual holiday.
- However, Jarvis wasn’t happy with how the day was commercialized.
Other pioneers of Mother’s Day
- Another person who helped in establishing the day was Julia Ward Howe who was a suffragette and abolitionist.
- The “Mother’s Day Proclamation” was written by her in 1870. Howe also campaigned for “Mother’s Peace Day” to be observed on June 2 annually.
- Other Mother’s Day pioneers include Juliet Calhoun Blakely, Mary Towles Sasseen, and Frank Hering.
- Hering was called “the Father of Mother’s Day.”