The History of Mother's Day
She is Mom, and though we love her every day, we take the second Sunday in May to really celebrate all that she is and all that she does. No doubt she deserves it, but how did Mom get her own day?
Mother's Day was declared a national holiday on May 9, 1914, by President Woodrow Wilson. However, it was seven years earlier that Anna Jarvis started putting the wheels in motion. Ms. Jarvis persuaded her Mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia, to celebrate a special day for mothers on the anniversary of her own Mother's death, which was the second Sunday in May. Support for Anna's sentiments blossomed and she was able to persuade ministers, businessmen, and politicians all across the country to honor all mothers on this specific day.
Anna's efforts reached all the way to the White House, where President Wilson declared:
"Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."
Anna Jarvis also started the custom of wearing white carnations on Mother's Day as a symbol of a Mother's sweetness, beauty, purity, and the endurance of her love. Later on, red carnations became the accepted symbol of a living mother, while white carnations followed Ms. Jarvis' example of honoring a mother who has passed away.
Today we not only honor our mothers, but our grandmothers, sisters, mother-in-laws, step-moms, and even those women outside the family who have been like a mother to us. Friends, co-workers, teachers, and neighbors are now of the receiving end of Mother's Day wishes.
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