Mother’s Day – 8 Things You May Not Have Known

Have you ever wondered how this day became possible? What events took place to make it a reality. Many people go shopping for a gift with no knowledge of the history behind the day called Mother’s Day.

1. When was the first Mother’s Day?
President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it on May 9, 1914, that each second Sunday in May, Americans were to give a public thanks to all mothers.

2. Where did Mother’s Day originate?
The first Mother’s Day celebration was in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St. Andrew’s now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine.

3. What happened to make Anna Jarvis want to denounce the holiday?
She wasn’t happy with the fact that Mother’s Day was commercialized to sell products for Mother’s Day. She spent the latter days of her life fighting to removed the holiday from the calendar.

4. What is the traditional gift for Mother’s Day?
Anna’s version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. Stores used the day to promote the selling of flowers, cards, and other gifts, which are the more popular gifts even today.

5. Where did the traditions of Mother’s Day come from?
The celebration of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Who held festivals in honor of the mother goddess Rhea and Cybele. But the apparent modern earlier event for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”

6. What is the meaning of Mothering Sunday?
It’s the fourth Sunday of Lent, often called Mother’s Day. It has no connection with the American festival of that name. Traditionally it was a day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants, were allowed a day off to visit their mother and family.

7. What is the difference between Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday?
Mothering Sunday is celebrated by Christians in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other English-speaking countries. It is increasingly being called Mother’s Day, although that name belongs to the American and Canadian nonreligious holiday, which is quite distinct from the original Mothering Sunday.

8. Were there others that felt they were the founder of the Mother’s Day holiday?
Yes, around the time, Ann Jarvis started the Mother’s Day Work Clubs, which was intended to stop babies from dying prematurely. A “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” written by Julia Ward Howe, had started a “Mother’s Peace Day, inspired by the Civil War and subsequent Franco-Prussian War to protect sons from dying prematurely.

City leaders of Henderson, Kentucky, argued that Mary Towels Sasseen should get the credit for starting a day to honor mothers back to 1887. She was a school principal who took original contents of a book of songs, poems, and readings for schools to tribute to mothers.

If you were to ask the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the organization would say Mother’s Day started on February 7, 1904, with its member Frank Earle Hering. He had an idea of setting aside a day once a year as a nationwide memorial in memory of mothers or motherhood to an audience of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Indianapolis.

With all this in mind, it is a day that we should all hold our mother’s dear to our hearts and show appreciation for the woman that brought us into this world. So make a special breakfast, send flowers, or take her out to eat. It could be as simple as picking up the phone, calling her to tell her that you love her. Happy Mother’s Day!

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