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Mother’s Day

The day set aside to honor America’s mothers began celebrating with flags, not flowers.

 

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“I…direct government officials to display the American flag on all government buildings, & do invite people of the United States to display the flag at their home or other suitable spaces on the second Sunday of May as a public expression of our love & reverence for mothers of our country.”

Pres. Woodrow Wilson declared "Mother's Day" a holiday in 1914, but the campaign for it started years earlier.
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The Daughter Behind Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her own mother, who founded “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” during the 1860s to provide aid and improve health & sanitation practices for mothers in the Appalachian mountains.

The Clubs also cared for both Union & Confederate soldiers, and encouraged reconciliation after the Civil War ended.

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Mother’s Day Campaign

  • 1908: Jarvis organized the 1st Mother’s Day in West Virginia to honor her mom.
  • 1910: West Virginia made it a holiday, and soon other states followed.
  • 1914: Congress made Mother’s Day the 2nd Sunday in May (the anniversary of Jarvis’ mom’s death).
  • By the 1920s, mothers nationwide were showered with candy, flowers, cards, & other gifts to celebrate Mother’s Day.
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Jarvis, who intended Mother's Day to honor the role mothers play in the family, church, and community, spent the rest of her life fighting against its commercialization. This year Americans will spend on average $205 on Mother’s Day gifts and celebrations.

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