18.05.13 Mother’s Day Background

May 12, 2018
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Americans will spend an average of $180A this Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother’s Day, would hate that fact.


  • In 1908, Jarvis organized the 1st Mother’s Day in West Virginia to honor her late mom who organized “Mothers’ Work Days” to improve women’s working conditions.
  • By 1910, West Virginia made it a holiday, other states followed.
  • In 1914, Congress declared the 2nd Sunday in May (anniversary of Jarvis’ mom’s death) as Mother’s Day.

By the 1920s, mothers nationwide were showered with candy, flowers, cards, & other gifts to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Jarvis, frustrated with the commercialization of the holiday, that she intended as a day to honor the role mothers play in the family, church, and community, spent the rest of her life fighting against its commercial success.

Jarvis handed out at carnations at the first Mother's Day celebration in 1908. Today, carnations are the official flower of Mother's Day. Americans are expected to spend a whopping $2.6B on flowers alone. For more on Mother's Day:

by Jenna Lee,