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Mother's Day

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Mother's Day is always the second Sunday in May.

Mother's Day is set aside to acknowledge, show appreciation for and honor your "mom" (and other moms in your life).

Anna Jarvis, born in 1864 in Webster, West Virginia, is credited as the force behind the official Mother's Day observance. When Jarvis was 41, her mother died. On the second anniversary of her mother's death (the second Sunday in May 1908), Jarvis made public her plans to establish a day to honor mothers. The observance became official in 1914.

The aspiration of Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis and her daughter, Anna Jarvis, was to establish a national memorial day dedicated to all mothers, both alive and deceased. After her mother's death in 1905, Anna Jarvis was relentless in achieving this goal.  Jarvis was successful in getting West Virginia Governor Glassock to proclaim a statewide Mother's Day in 1910. Four years later, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law a U.S. House of Representatives resolution, introduced at Jarvis' request, making the second Sunday in May the national Mother's Day. Mother's Day has since become an international holiday, celebrated in over 100 countries.

Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis and her family lived in Taylor County in the mid-1800s. Stories about her many good deeds and leadership qualities had become part of the local folklore by the time of her death. She and her brother, a doctor, had formed the Mothers Day Friendship Clubs to work with women to prevent the deaths of children by teaching sanitation methods. They explained to mothers the importance of boiling water, how to keep food from spoiling, and other antiseptic methods.

Jarvis and the women who joined these Mothers Day Friendship Clubs refused to take sides during the Civil War. Instead they provided nursing services and taught sanitation methods which helped save thousands of soldiers' lives on both sides, North and South. After the war, Jarvis was tireless in promoting peace and good will among neighbors who may have differed politically. She conceived a family day picnic honoring mothers, called Mothers Friendship Day; its real goal, however, was to reunite alienated neighbors. Following a prayer, the band began to play "Should Auld Acquaintances Be Forgot." By the time they reached the word "forgot," neighbors were weeping and shaking hands.

Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother in 1907, and all mothers the next year. Services were held at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, which is now the International Mothers Day Shrine. Anna Jarvis' birthplace, where the Jarvis family lived from 1854 to 1864, is now a museum.

Although today it is customary to give cards, flowers, and other gifts on Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis was a strong opponent to the commercialization of the holiday. In particular, she was known to berate people who purchased greeting cards, saying they were too lazy to write personal letters "to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world." She was arrested for disturbing the peace while protesting at a Mother's Day celebration in New York, and eventually wished she never would have started the day because it became so commercialized.



You Know You're A Mother When...
By Liane Kupferberg Carter



  1. You count the sprinkles on each kid's cupcake to make sure they're equal.

  2. You hide in the bathroom to be alone.

  3. Your kid throws up and you catch it.

  4. Someone else's kid throws up at a party. You keep eating.

  5. You consider finger paints to be a controlled substance.

  6. You find yourself cutting your husband's sandwiches into cute shapes.

  7. You hear your mother's voice coming out of your mouth when you say, "NOT in your good clothes!"

  8. You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.

  9. You hire a sitter because you haven't been out with your husband in ages, then spend half the night checking on the kids.

  10. You say at least once a day, "I'm not cut out for this job", but you know you wouldn't trade it for anything.







The Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum






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