When is Mother’s Day? The date of Mother’s Day is May 8th this year. Who created Mother’s Day? How did Mother’s Day come to be?
The history of Mother’s Day will surprise anyone thinking this warm and fuzzy holiday is anything but a bed of roses and pink carnations.
The History of Mother’s Day
Although she regretted what Mother’s Day had become before she died, Anna Jarvis – an unmarried spinster with no children of her own – is credited as the founder of Mother’s Day almost 100 years ago.
Jarvis wanted to honor her deceased mother by establishing a special day for mothers. She worked tirelessly to petition for an official Mother’s Day. With all her good intentions, it pretty much backfired on Anna Jarvis. Today’s holiday we affectionately know as Mother’s Day, is not at all what Anna had envisioned at the turn of the century.
First Official Mother’s Day
The first official Mother’s Day celebration took place on May 10, 1908, at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, and a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By 1909, forty-six states were holding some form of Mother’s Day celebration, recognizing it as a holiday even though it would be five more years until it was an official holiday.
In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed Mother’s Day into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. It didn’t take long however, for savvy businesses, flower growers, florists – and whoever else could cash in – to exploit the holiday.
Anna Jarvis Regretted Creating Mother’s Day
The commercialization bothered Anna so much so, that according to Mother’s Day Central, she sued to stop a Mother’s Day event in 1923, and in the 1930’s, was arrested for disturbing the peace at the American War Mothers group. She was protesting their sale of flowers.
According to MSNBC.com, “Jarvis became known for scathing letters in which she would berate people who purchased greeting cards, saying they were too lazy to write personal letters…”
“A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.” —Anna Jarvis
In the end, Jarvis was bitter about what the observance had become and “wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control …”
In 1934, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved a stamp commemorating the holiday.
Mother’s Day Around the World
By the time of Anna Jarvis’ death in 1948, over 40 countries observed Mother’s Day. Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated all over the world. Many countries have different Mother’s Day dates and their own customs. Read more about the history of Mother’s Day here.
The International Mother’s Day Shrine and is a National Historic Landmark. It is located in the Grafton’s church, where the first celebration was held in 1908.
When is Mother’s Day 2011?
Because Mother’s Day is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May, Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 8, 2011 this year.
Celebrating Mother’s Day in Rhode Island
Take Mom to brunch on Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 8th. There are plenty of restaurants that are serving brunch in the Providence area, but if the weather is really nice on Mother’s day, check out Chelo’s on the Waterfront in Warwick, RI. It’s a great place to sit in the sun with a water view. The deck and patio area overlooking Greenwich Bay and the marina will be open and serving brunch on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2011.
Chelo’s on the Waterfront
1 Masthead Drive
Warwick, RI 02886
Phone: (401) 884-3000
Related Mother’s Day Articles
- When is Mother’s Day 2011? Celebrate Mom’s holiday on Sunday, May 8, 2011
Happy Mother’s Day 2011: History of Mother’s Day date, Anna Jarvis, sad founder
Happy Mother’s Day 2011: Send Mom a Hallmark card for third-largest card holiday
Sources: Wikipedia.org; Mother’s Day Central; MSNBC.com
Photo: sxc.hu; michaelaw