History of Mother’s Day
As I was trying to decide what I truly want to share about Mother’s Day which here in the US we celebrate on May 8th, it came to my mind that I have no clue how this holiday came around.
So off I go to google the history of Mother’s Day, and I go lost in all the information that spewed out.
The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.
But who was Ann Reeves Jarvis?
In 1858, Ann Reeves Jarvis (Anna Jarvis’ mother) organizes Mothers’ Day Work Clubs to improve sanitary conditions and stem her community’s appalling infant mortality rates. In her lifetime, Jarvis has 13 children and only sees four of them live to adulthood.
In 1868 in the wake of the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis (Anna Jarvis’ mother) coordinates a Mothers’ Friendship Day in West Virginia to bring former foes on the battlefield back together again. The initially tense day goes well, with veterans from the North and South weeping and shaking hands for the first time in years.
In 1870, Julia Ward Howe, a mother and another forerunner of modern-day Mother’s Day celebrations, suggests a “Mothers’ Peace Day.” She makes the case that war is a preventable evil and mothers have a “sacred right” to protect the lives of their boys.
The inaugural celebration of Howe’s “Mothers’ Day” takes place in June of 1873.
Ann Reeves Jarvis dies on the second Sunday in May of 1905.
In 1907, One of Jarvis’ surviving daughters, Anna Jarvis, organizes a small service in honor of her deceased mother on the second Sunday in May at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia.
The first formal “Mother’s Day” commemoration is marked with another service on the second Sunday in May at the same church in Grafton, and with a much larger ceremony in Philadelphia. Jarvis has white carnations distributed to the mothers, sons, and daughters in attendance in Grafton.
In 1910, The governor of West Virginia makes Mother’s Day an official holiday on the second Sunday in May.
Then in 1912, While waging a relentless letter-writing campaign to drum up support for Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis creates the Mother’s Day International Association and trademarks the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day.” “She wanted Mother’s Day to be a very private acknowledgment of all the mother does for the family,” said Katharine Antolini, a history professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College (today.com).
The story of Anna Jarvis ends very differently than how it started and if you gt a chance you need to read all about it.
And here we all are, celebrating our mothers on different dates and days all over the world in our now modern-day Mother’s Day Celebrations.
Nobody works harder, loves deeper or worries more than mothers. It takes a village to raise children and not all mothers carry their own children or get to raise their own, some like me are aunties, surrogate mothers, stand in mothers, adoptive mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, hopeful mothers, grieving mothers.
Whatever your title is this Mother’s Day, from one queen to another, I see you working and doing your best.
Thank you to each one of you who rocks with Malkia E and to each one of you, Happy Mother's day.
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