Worldwide, more than 46 countries honor mothers with a special day, but not all countries celebrate the same day. We honor the motherboards, candy, flowers and dinner. But have you ever thought about how it became a holiday in the U.S.?
Mother’s Day was suggested in the United States by Julia Ward Howe, author of Battle Hymn of the Republic. She suggested that this day is dedicated to peace. Miss Howe organized Mother’s Day meetings in Boston every year.
In 1877, Mrs. Juliet Calhoun Blakely inadvertently Mother’s Day in motion. On Sunday, May 11, 1877, which was the anniversary of Ms. Blakely, the pastor of his Methodist Episcopal Church left the pulpit abruptly, shocked by the behavior of his son. Ms. Blakely approached the pulpit to take care of the rest of the service and called for other mothers to join her.
Mrs. Blakely had two son was so touched by her gesture that they are committed to return to their hometown of Albion, Michigan every year to mark the anniversary of their mother and to honor her. In addition, the two brothers involved in business and urged those they met during a trip as salesman to honor their mothers on the second Sunday in May They also urged the Methodist Episcopal Church in Albion set aside the second Sunday of each May to honor all mothers, especially their own.
While there were local celebrations honoring mothers in the late 1800s, recognition of Mother’s Day as a national holiday in the United States has been largely through the efforts of Anna Jarvis. Anna’s mother, Mrs. Anna M. Jarvis, had played a role in developing “Mothers Friendship Day” which was part of the healing process of the civil war. In honor of his mother, Miss Jarvis wanted to reserve a day to honor all mothers, living and dead.
In 1907, Miss Anna began a campaign to establish a national Mother’s Day. She persuaded her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother’s Day the second anniversary of the death of his mother, the second Sunday in May The following year, Mother’s Day was celebrated in his hometown of Philadelphia.
Miss Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, evangelists, businessmen and politicians in their crusade to establish a national Mother’s Day. This campaign was a success. In 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state in the Union. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made the official announcement proclaiming Mother’s Day as a national holiday to be held annually the second Sunday in May.
The crusade of a woman Anna Jarvis is often overlooked in history books because women during the 1900s have been involved in many other reform efforts, but it is likely that these other reforms have helped pave the way for Anna Jarvis to succeed in his campaign for Mother’s Day.