Mother’s Day is well known here in the United States as a day to honor our mothers – or for that matter, anyone who has ever filled the role of “mother” in our lives. On May 8th, we once again will take advantage of the annual opportunity to tell her just how important she is.
While some argue the roots of Mother’s Day; either “Mothering Day” in Ireland or something different; most would agree that the history in the United States dates back to the 19th century and represents the courage and resolve of some remarkable women – and one man. In the early 1860’s, a woman named Ann Reeves Jarvis started clubs in her community called “Mother’s Day Work Clubs”. The purpose of these gatherings was to give support to other mothers and teach them how to care properly for their children. During and after the Civil War, the clubs banded women together during tough and divided times; when many of them had lost their husbands. In 1868, Jarvis continued her efforts to promote unity by starting “Mother’s Friendship Day”, when mothers met with both Union and Confederate soldiers to encourage healing and reconciliation.
In 1870, abolitionist and suffragist Julia Ward Howe wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation, which was a clarion call for mothers to unite to promote world peace. Soon after, Julia Blakely of Albion MI organized a local celebration of Mother’s Day; and in the early 20th century, Mary Sasseen and Frank Hering carried the torch for the cause, earning Hering the title “The Father of Mother’s Day”. But it was Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, who successfully saw Mother’s Day named a national holiday in 1914.
It is not surprising that many people struggled for years to get women the recognition they deserved as strong heads of households, parents, and activists. Our modern day Mother’s Day celebrates mothers of all types and all backgrounds – for their many contributions, great and small – globally and in our families. This May 8th, honor your Mom with a beautiful arrangement from Norfolk Florist – because, in all of history, there is none quite so special as your mother.