Sunday May 11, 2003

Mothers Day

Mothers Day has its roots in several places, including an ancient Greek celebration of Rhea, mother of the gods. In England, in the 1600s, servants were given a day off on "Mothering Sunday" and encouraged to visit their mothers for the day.

A day to honor mothers was first suggested in the US in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (writer, reformer, and author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic). However, the founder of Mothers Day in the US is Anna Jarvis, who began an intense campaign to honor mothers after her own mother's death in May, 1905.

On the first anniversary of her mother's death, May 9, 1906, Miss Jarvis, with some friends, reviewed the outstanding accomplishments of her mother brought about through her Mothers Day Work Clubs that were established prior to the Civil War.� After this, Miss Jarvis wrote to Mr. Norman F. Kendall of Grafton asking him to organize a Mothers Day Memorial Committee from her mother's coworkers at the Andrews Church and asked them to pass a resolution favoring the founding of Mothers Day. Mr. Kendall carried out this request, and the resolution was passed. On the second anniversary of Mrs. Jarvis' death, May 12, 1907, a memorial service was held for her at the Andrews church.

Miss Jarvis employed every means available to her to achieve her goal of establishing the observance of Mothers Day nationally.� She wrote hundreds of letters to legislators, executives, and businessmen on both state and national levels. She was a fluent speaker and passed up no opportunity to promote her project. Most of her appeals fell on deaf ears.� Her first real break came from her appeal to the great merchant and philanthropist, John Wanamaker of Philadelphia. With his influence and support, the movement gained momentum. On May 10, 1908, the third anniversary of Mrs. Jarvis' death, fully-prepared programs were held at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton and in Philadelphia, launching the observance of a general memorial day for all mothers.

By 1909, forty-five states, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico observed Mothers Day. In May 1914, congress and senate introduced a joint resolution, naming the second Sunday in May as Mothers Day; the resolution was passed in both Houses and approved by President Woodrow Wilson.

Mothers Day ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Sun, 11 May, 11:52 Pacific | «e»