In 1907, Anna Jarvis
, proposed that a day be set aside for children to pay tribute to their mothers. However, when Miss Jarvis organized this annual remembrance, the original commemoration was for a mother who had passed on into loving memory.
In an effort to ease her grief, Miss Jarvis (1864-1948) arranged for a special memorial service to be held honoring her mother, providing five hundred carnations -- her mother's favorite flower -- as corsages.
For seven years Miss Jarvis campaigned vigorously to create a national holiday honoring mothers, winning many influential supporters, from suffragists to politicians. On May 8,1914
, Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May "MOTHER'S DAY
", urging an annual "public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country".
This quickly degenerated into a commercial hoopla that distressed Ann Jarvis greatly, and the poor lady spent the rest of her life arguing in letters, phamplets, and editorials that the holiday had been intended to inspire simple loving gestures "through some distinct act of kindness, visit, letter, gift or tribute to show remembrance of the mother to whom general affection is due
". Unfortunately, Miss Jarvis gave birth to an idea that, like children, grew up differently than Mother might have wished.
(Source:MRS.SHRAP'STRADITIONS by Sarah Ban Breathnach)