The real history of Mother’s Day within us might surprise you. Three women who championed efforts toward better health, welfare, peace, and love contributed to the day. we all celebrate on the second Sunday in May annually.
The Mother’s Day holiday within us wasn’t born out a desire to easily treat mothers to each day off or buy gifts. It essentially began as a women’s movement to raise the lives of other Americans.
The creation of a national Mother’s Day is primarily attributed to 3 women: Ann Reeves Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe, and Ann’s daughter, Anna M. Jarvis.
ANN REEVES JARVIS
Known as “Mother Jarvis,” Ann Reeves Jarvis was a young Appalachian homemaker who taught Sunday school lessons. She also was a lifelong activist who, within the mid-1800s, had organized “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” in West Virginia to combat unsanitary living conditions and teach young mothers the way to safely look after their children. During the war, Mother Jarvis had also organized women’s brigades, encouraging women to assist without regard that side their men had chosen. After the war, she proposed a Mothers’ Friendship Day to market peace between former Union and Confederate families. “I hope and pray that somebody, sometime, will found a memorial mother’s day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life,” Ann Jarvis once said. “She is entitled thereto .”
JULIA WARD HOWE
Julia Ward Howe was a famous poet and reformer. During the war, she volunteered for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, helping them to supply hygienic environments for hospitals and ensure sanitary conditions during the care of sick and wounded soldiers. In 1861, she authored the famous war anthem, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which was first published in February 1862.
Around 1870, Julia Ward Howe involved a “Mother’s Day for Peace” dedicated to the celebration of peace and therefore the eradication of war. As expressed in what’s called her “Mother’s Day Proclamation” from 1870, Howe felt that mothers should gather to stop the cruelty of war and therefore the waste of life since mothers of mankind alone bear and know the value.
Howe’s version of Mother’s Day was held in Boston and other locations for about 30 years but died a fast death within the years preceding war. Nothing new happened during this department until 1907, when a Miss Anna M. Jarvis, of Philadelphia, took up the banner.
ANNA M. JARVIS
After her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died in 1905, Miss Anna Jarvis from Philadelphia wished to memorialize her life and began campaigning for a national day to honor all mothers. She bombarded public figures and various civic organizations with telegrams, letters, and in-person discussions. She addressed groups large and little. At her own expense, she wrote, printed, and distributed booklets extolling her idea.
In May of 1907, Anna memorialized her mother’s lifelong activism with a memorial service held at the Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, where Anna’s mother had taught. the subsequent year, on May 10, a Mother’s Day service was held at that very same church to acknowledge all mothers. Thus was born the thought that the second Sunday could also be put aside to honor every mother, whether living or deceased.
Her efforts came to the eye of the mayor of Philadelphia, who proclaimed an area Mother’s Day. From the local level, she went on to Washington, D.C. The politicians there knew an honest thing once they saw it and were quick to lend verbal support.
While West Virginia was the primary state to officially adopt the vacation, others followed suit. Proclamation of the day by the varied states led Representative J. Thomas Heflin of Alabama and Senator Morris Sheppard of Texas to present a resolution to Congress that Mother’s Day is observed nationwide. The resolution was gone by both houses.
In 1914, President Wilson signed a bill designating the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to be called “Mother’s Day”—dedicated “to the simplest mother within the world, your mother.” For the primary few years, the day was observed as a national holiday, but in absolute simplicity and reverence—church services were held in honor of all mothers, living and dead.
According to many sources, Ann simply wanted to honor her mother and therefore the work she had done, and claimed that her mother was the originator of the important Mother’s Day. She was dismayed to ascertain Mother’s Day become more commercialized with the sending of cards and gifts and used as how to market other causes. Sadly, Anna spent the ultimate years of her life trying to abolish the very holiday that she had helped to establish!
MOTHER’S DAY TODAY.
Mother’s Day endures and evolves. even as Mother’s Day was the creation of multiple women, the fashionable Mother’s Day celebrates the numerous roles of mothers today. We commemorate the various ways mothers have fought to raise the lives of their