Sunday, May 10, 2015


Anna Jarvis, the force behind first Mother's Day.

Via National Geographic, we get this interesting history of Mother's Day, which was written in 2014 ...

As Mother's Day turns 100 this year [2014], it's known mostly as a time for brunches, gifts, cards, and general outpourings of love and appreciation.
But the holiday has more somber roots: It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace. And when the holiday went commercial, its greatest champion, Anna Jarvis, gave everything to fight it, dying penniless and broken in a sanitarium.
It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women's organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis—Anna's mother—held Mother's Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination, according to historian Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865.
In the postwar years Jarvis and other women organized Mother's Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes. Julia Ward Howe, for one — best known as the composer of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" — issued a widely read "Mother's Day Proclamation" in 1870, calling for women to take an active political role in promoting peace.
Around the same time, Jarvis had initiated a Mother's Friendship Day for Union and Confederate loyalists across her state. But it was her daughter Anna who was most responsible for what we call Mother's Day — and who would spend most of her later life fighting what it had become ...

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

- Mark 

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