First Mother’s Day held in 1908!

A daughter’s tribute became a national observance.

Anna Jarvis felt that mothers should have one day where they were honored. She felt passionate about this after watching her mother serve others. Her mother, Ann, was a pacifist who cared for both Confederate and Yankee soldiers during the war. After that she created mother’s clubs to address public health issues. She sounds like a remarkable woman who must have been an inspiration to many. The states observed Mother’s Day before it became a national holiday as a result of Anna Jarvis’s efforts. West Virginia was the first, and is proud to have the International Mother’s Day Shrine. I never knew there was such a thing! In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made it an official holiday. Congress had rejected the idea in 1908.

I have many memories of Mother’s Day with my mother and grandmother. Now I’m a mother and grandmother! My mother drove me crazy at times, and I’m sure I have done the same to my children, but isn’t that part of the fun? I always said I wasn’t going to be like my mother, but of course I found myself doing many things and saying things that she did. I guess it can’t be helped.

Hallmark got into the holiday by 1920 and it made Anna Jarvis angry. She said it wasn’t a holiday for companies to make money and she protested against candy and card makers. Really? I for one love to receive cards and chocolate. My favorite gift is flowers as my family knows.

I hope all you mothers are enjoying your day and are hearing from your children. Anna Jarvis never married nor had children. If she did, I wonder if she would have appreciated a Mother’s Day card. She died in 1948.

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