Tuesday, May 4, 2010

History of Mother's Day

The United States celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. In the 1880s and 1890s there were several attempts to establish a Mother's Day, but they didn't succeed beyond the local level. The holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, in 1908 as a day to honor one's mother. Jarvis wanted to accomplish her mother's dream of making a celebration for all mothers, although the idea didn't take off until she enlisted the services of wealthy Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker. She kept promoting the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made it an official national holiday in 1914. The holiday eventually became so highly commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a "Hallmark Holiday", i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose. Jarvis eventually ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create. She died in 1948, regretting what had become of her holiday In the United States, Mother's Day remains one of the biggest days for sales of flowers, greeting cards, and the like; it is also the biggest holiday for long-distance telephone calls.

8 comments:

Eliza March said...

And rightly so. Mothers are under appreciated until you become one...(I'm including those Dads who've taken over the role of Mother, too.) Let's give it up for Mom's everywhere!

Eliza

sunelby said...

you are right about mothers day!!

Dorothy Semple said...

I enjoyed the article on Mother's Day and you are right about Mothers.

Julianna Sage said...

Thank you for the great article about mothers day.

Donna Hatch said...

That's too bad she regretted what she'd started. I think it's a great holiday, but I do understand that is has become too commercialized. However, any time we can honor our mothers is a good thing.

Margaret Tanner said...

I too enjoyed your Mothers Day blog. It is a pity that it has become so commercialised. What happened to giving your mother a bunch of flowers or a card, now it is jewllery, perfume, and electrical appliances.

Happy Mother's Day

Cheers
Margaret

Lilly Gayle said...

Loved the post. So, I'm assuming Ms. Jarvis opposed the commercialization of her holiday rather than having created something to celebrate mother's. Can't say I blame her. It is too commercialized. And it's more my mother's day than mine. I'm a mother, but I have a mother and a mother-in-law so I don't get to relax. I have to figure out a way to divide time between two other women and buy gifts for them so my day to relax becomes expensive and hectic because they live three hours apart in opposite directions from me!

Lorelei Confer said...

Lilly Gayle: I undersatnd what you mean. My mother in law has passed away but I live in FL and my mother lives in PA so every year I'm to send flowers, or a gift or that special card, making the phone call on Mother's Day, too. I have grandchildren so I have daughters-in-law who are mother's and they celebrate with their mothers and her family. It has all become so complicated. I think some mother's expect the attention every year, too! Thanks for posting!