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A SPECIAL DAY, A NATIONAL HOLIDAY TO HONOR ALL MOTHERS—for years, it was simply a dream, an elusive goal for a young woman, Anna Jarvis, who vowed to fulfill her mother’s desire for just such a recognition of mothers.  In the mid 1800’s, Anna Reeves Jarvis, the mother, established “Mothers’ Work Day” to raise awareness of sanitary conditions in her home State of West Virginia.  This was expanded to relate to sanitary issues for both the Confederate and Union troops.

 

When Mrs. Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter Anna swore at her gravesite that she would work to institute a national date on which all mothers would be honored.  Two years later, she demonstrated her public relations ability by presenting white carnations to the women at her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia. 

 

The next year, the church agreed to hold a special Sunday service to honor all mothers of the congregation.  It was a quickly accepted tradition that spread like wildfire to churches in 46 states.

 

                        Full-Time Job For a Determined Woman

 

Not content with this informal acceptance, Anna Jarvis set herself about a sweeping letter-writing campaign, targeting members of congress, clergymen and local civic activists.  Anyone who was in a position to help promote the concept of a national “Mother’s Day” was contacted, and many responded to her heartfelt pleas for the holiday.

 

THEN:  SUCCESS!  In 1912, Anna’s dream began to be realized.  West Virginia, naturally, was the first state to adopt an official Mother’s Day.  And, two years later, President Woodrow Wilson signed a joint resolution of Congress formally establishing a national Mother’s Day that recognized the formative role of women in their families, cultivating character and codes of behavior.

 

 

MOTHERS ARE THE HEART AND SOUL OF THE FAMILY.  HELP ADD TO MOTHER’S DAY FESTIVITIES WITH THESE “LOVE YOU MOM” GIFTS:

 

 

 

 

 

The second Sunday of May was chosen as the date to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States.  Similar holidays are held throughout the world, such as Mothering Day in the U.K.  Over the years, as the United States holiday was adopted by other countries, its character was modified to meet local customs or to coincide with a date that was meaningful to the majority religion, such as Catholic countries’ Virgin Mary Day.

 

In Muslim countries, it is related to the birthday of the daughter of the Prophet Mohammad.  And other countries, such as Russia, give a political slant to their International Women’s Day.

 

Never a mother herself, Anna Jarvis is fondly referred to as the “mother of Mother’s Day.”  In the United States, the holiday has taken on the character she envisioned:  expressions of love and appreciation of mother by all family members, and gifts, of course, to mark the day and provide fond memories.

 

MOTHER’S DAY IS ALWAYS A JOYOUS, LOVE-FILLED CELEBRATION FOR THE SMALLEST TOT TO GOOD OLD DAD.  HERE ARE SOME MADE-FOR-MOM GIFT IDEAS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every mother looks forward to Mother’s Day as the day she’ll be feted, hugged and kissed and told she’s wonderful.  It’s the day she’ll most likely be waited upon, with special breakfast in bed or dining out a part of the festivities.  But the gifts she receives will have a nesting place in her heart, and every time she wears or uses them, they’ll exert their loving power on her, constantly impressing upon Mom that she is loved a lot.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010


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