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Simple Things: Mother's Day

Simple Things:  Mother's Day

Home Depot has some awesome Mother’s Day deals on that are made better with a Home Depot Money Off Coupon from We Are Coupons. You might be surprised at the true history of Mother's Day USA. The day we celebrate every May 2nd is a result of the efforts of three women who championed better health, welfare and love. Continue reading...

The Mother's Day holiday celebrated in the United States was not created to treat mothers to a day off, or buy them gifts. It was a women's movement that aimed to improve the lives of others in America.

Three women are responsible for the creation of Mother's Day in America: Ann Reeves Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe. Ann's daughter Anna M. Jarvis is also a key contributor.

Ann Reeves Jarvis

Ann Reeves Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker, was known as "Mother Jarvis" and taught Sunday school lessons. In the mid-1800s, she was also an activist. She established Mothers' Day Work Clubs in West Virginia to fight unsanitary living conditions. This club taught young mothers how to care for their children. Mother Jarvis also organized women's brigades during the Civil War. This encouraged women to volunteer regardless of which side they were on. She proposed a Mothers’ Friendship Day in order to encourage peace between Confederate and Union families after the war. Ann Jarvis once stated, "I hope, pray, that someone will find a memorial Mother's Day commemorating her for all the untold service she renders humanity in every area of life." She is entitled to it.

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe was a well-known poet and reformer. She volunteered to serve as a U.S. Sanitary Commission volunteer during the Civil War. They were responsible for providing hygienic environments in hospitals and sanitary conditions for soldiers who are sick or wounded. She wrote the Civil War anthem "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in 1861. It was published for the first time in February 1862.

Julia Ward Howe, a mother of three, called for a Mother's Day for Peace in 1870. This day was to celebrate peace and end war. Howe, in her 1870 "Mother's Day Proclamation", stated that she believed mothers should come together to stop wars and their waste.

Howe's Mother's Day celebration was held in Boston for around 30 years. However, he died quickly in the years before World War I.

This department was unchanged until 1907 when Miss Anna M. Jarvis of Philadelphia took over the banner.

Anna M. Jarvis

Ann Reeves Jarvis Jarvis, her mother, died in 1905. Miss Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia wanted to remember her mother and began campaigning for a national mother's day. She bombarded politicians and civic organizations with telegrams and letters and held in-person discussions. She addressed all sizes of groups. She printed and distributed brochures extolling her ideas at her own expense.

Anna remembered her mother's activism and life with a memorial service at Grafton's Methodist Church, West Virginia in May 1907. To honor all mothers, a Mother's Day ceremony was held at the same church on May 10th of the following year. The idea of a Mother's Day service on the second Sunday of May was born to recognize all mothers, living and deceased.

Mother's Day Gains Ground

The mayor of Philadelphia noticed her efforts and declared Mother's Day in Philadelphia. She went to Washington, D.C., from the local level. There were many politicians who recognized a good thing and offered verbal support.

Although West Virginia was the initial state to adopt the holiday, many others have followed their lead. After the proclamation of Mother's Day by the different states, Representative J. Thomas Heflin from Alabama and Senator Morris Sheppard from Texas presented a joint resolution to Congress requesting that Mother's Day is observed across the country. Both houses passed the resolution.

Woodrow Wilson signed a law in 1914 designating Mother's Day as a legal holiday. The day was to be observed in simplicity and reverence. Church services were held in honour of all mothers, both living and deceased.

A Bittersweet Legacy

Many sources claim that Ann wanted to honor her mother's work and to honor her mother. She also claimed that her mother is the original originator of Mother's Day. Ann was shocked to see Mother's Day becoming more commercialized, with gifts and cards being sent out and used to promote other causes. Unfortunately, Anna spent her final years trying to eliminate the holiday she helped to create!

Mother's Day Today

Mother's Day is a tradition that endures and changes. Mother's Day is a celebration of the many roles mothers play today, just as Mother's Day was created by multiple women. Mothers have done so many things to improve the lives of their children. We honor mothers who have nurtured and raised their children with love, courage and compassion.

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