Mother’s Day: The History Behind It

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Mother’s Day is a day where we shower our mom or the mother figure in our lives with love and appreciation. Whether it’s pancakes in bed, or flowers and cards, it’s become a day that is widely celebrated worldwide. 

While Anna Jarvis is credited as the “Mother” of Mother’s Day, the idea behind the day was actually started in the 1850s. 

In the 1850s, women in West Virginia organized themselves into Mother’s Day work clubs which sought to reduce infant mortality and improve sanitary conditions

Following the end of the war in 1865, Ann Reeves Jarvis, Anna Jarvis’s mother, and several other women started Mother’s Day Friendship picnics. While these picnics honored mothers, they also sought to bring peace between the union and confederate. 

Many of these Mother’s Day work clubs were organized by Mrs. Jarvis. In 1908 Anna sent 500 carnations to Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, WV in celebration of her mother. This is considered to be the first official observance of Mother’s Day. 

The day eventually garnered more and more popularity over the years. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure declaring the second Sunday of May a national holiday. The President noted that it would be “a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

As time went on, Jarvis later eventually denounced the holiday for its commercialization. She became disgusted with the greed she was seeing from the florist, candy, and greeting card industries.

Jarvis felt that these industries were gouging the people of their money and using the holiday as a means to profit. To her, she felt that Mother’s Day should be about celebrating the personal, and individual connection between a mother and her children. 

 She spent the remainder of her life in an all out war against the commercialization of Mother’s Day and sought to have it removed from the calendar.

For most moms today, Mother’s Day is celebrated by going out to brunch, and receiving flowers and cards.

This year Mother’s Day might look a little different depending on where you are. Maybe your city or state is still on lockdown and you aren’t able to take mom to brunch or dinner. Or maybe things have started reopening, but you still aren’t able to take mom out for her special day.

Either way, you can still shower your mom with love and appreciation. Remember, Mother’s Day is about celebrating the personal relationship that you have with your mom.

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