Sunday, May 13

Happy Momma's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Did you know that Mother's Day has its roots in war?

The first attempts to establish a "Mother's Day" in the United States was by groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on opposite sides of the American Civil War.

In 1868, Ann Jarvis created a committee to establish a "Mother's Friendship Day" whose purpose was "to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War." She wanted to expand it into an annual memorial for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the celebration became popular.

Mother's Day was established by Anna Jarvis, with the help of Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker, following the death of her mother Ann Jarvis on May 9, 1905. T
he first "official" service was on May 10, 1908 at Andrew's Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, W.V., where Anna's mother had been teaching Sunday school, accompanied by a larger ceremony in the Wanamaker Auditorium in the Wanamaker's store in Philadelphia. The next year the day was reported to be widely celebrated in New York.

Anna Jarvis delivered 500 carnations at its first celebration in 1908 because it was her mother's favorite flower. In part due to the shortage of white carnations, and in part due to the efforts to expand the sales of more types of flowers in Mother's Day, florists promoted wearing a red carnation if your mother was living, or a white one if she was dead.

Jarvis then campaigned to establish Mother's Day first as a U.S. national holiday and then later as an international holiday. The holiday was declared officially by the state of West Virginia in 1910, and the rest of states followed quickly.

On May 8, 1914, the U.S. Congress passed a law designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day and requesting a proclamation. On May 9, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring the first national Mother's Day as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.
Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of the holiday due to commercialization, spending all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.

She decried the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day, and she finally said that she "...wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control ...."

She died later that year.

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