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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 12

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day arose as a national holiday in the early 1900s through the efforts of Anna Jarvis. Jarvis was inspired by her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis. (Ann, an interesting figure in her own right, had nursed both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and later advocated for peace between Union and Confederate mothers.)

Anna wrote letter after letter, zealously campaigning for a day to honor mothers and the hard work that they do. In 1914 she succeeded: President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing Mother’s Day as the second Sunday in May.

Did you know? In earlier years, the white carnation (Ann Reeves Jarvis’s favorite flower) was worn on Mother’s Day as a symbol of a mother’s pure love. Florists later built upon the tradition by promoting white carnations to honor deceased mothers and more brightly colored flowers to honor living mothers.

 

Anna Jarvis eventually came to regret the commercialization of Mother’s Day and resented the greeting card and floral industries for capitalizing on it. In her later years, she tirelessly railed against the holiday as much as she had promoted it before.

 

 

The Child’s Caress, Mary Cassatt, c. 1890

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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May 12
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