Brownielocks and The 3 Bears
THE HISTORY OF MOTHER's DAY
Here's one of our Weekly Cartoons called "Loyalty"
that in a way pertains to moms.
Here is one called "Ventriloquist Mom."
Here's one called "Proud Mom".
One word comes to mind as the inspiration for the creation of Mother's Day. And that word is "homesick."
Anna Jarvis, who was born in Grafton, West Virginia in 1864 had moved to Philadelphia later as an adult and lived there most of her life. You know the cliche, "You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl" applies in this situation. (You can replace girl with boy also!) Although she lived in a city, Anna longed for her West Virginia countryside, the mountains and the family and friends she'd grown up with.
Note: In November 2009, Brownielocks went over to the Grafton, WVA area. She saw the Anna Jarvis Museum, which is the home that she was born in and lived in most of her life. Below are some photos from that trip.
Anna Jarvis' own mother was a role model of domestic nurturing and other household responsibilities. She gave birth to 11 children and endured through the death of 7 of them. In spite of all this tragedy, she never lost her faith in God. She kept caring for her children when they were ill, took care of her husband (who was a lot older than she was) and sacrificed her dream of a college education due to the poverty in her own life. When she died, Anna organized a special service at the church in Grafton, W. VA to honor her mother and all that she had endured and done.
Eventually Anna decided that she wanted to honor her mother by honoring ALL mothers with their own special day on the second Sunday in May.
She did a letter-writing campaign that included politicians, newspaper editors and church leaders. She also organized a committee known as "The Mother's Day International Association" to promote this new holiday.
Already in existence was "Children's Day" (the 2nd Sunday in June) and Anna knew this being a church Sunday school teacher (and organist). Children's Day had been observed since 1870. She wanted Mother's Day to be closer to Memorial Day, so that people would remember the sacrifices their mothers had made for their families, just like people also remembered the sacrifices their sons had made for their country.
The nation was changing also. Many sons and daughters no longer lived on the farm with their parents or even stayed in the same town anymore. So being "homesick" for their mothers and other family and friends hit the hearts of many.
May, 1908 was the very first Mother's Day observance. President Wilson gave the day national recognition in 1914 and by the late 1920's Mother's Day became one of our countries most prominent holidays. But, Anna Jarvis originally intended this holiday to be more of a church-related one, slowly evolved between Christianity and commercialism. Greeting card companies quickly jumped on Mother's Day, and it is now the 4th largest card-buying holiday in the United States. Florists have also jumped on this holiday as well.
Mother's Day has also become a political platform today for various issues involving women, justice, inequality and in some cases domestic violence, emotional abuse, child abandonment; and, in the case of divorces, child custody rights of a father over a mother at times. Coretta Scott King (the wife of the slain Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King) led a Mother's Day march in 1968 to support poor mothers and their children.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) in the 1970's used Mother's Day as their spotlight for rallies to promote the Equal Rights Amendment and access to better child care. In the 1980's, Helen Caldicott, the founder of the Women's Party for Survival, used Mother's Day to stage anti-nuclear demonstrations.
In England, they celebrate Mothering Day, which is held on the 4th Sunday during Lent. It's not the same and is often confused with Mother's Day, which is now also celebrated in England as well as the United States.
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The carnation was chosen as the symbol for Mother's Day because Anna Jarvis' mother had loved carnations. So she would wear one in honor of her own mother and encouraged others to wear one honoring their mothers.
Some people wear a white carnation to honor mothers who have died. While others choose a pink or red carnations to honor their mothers who are still living.
Victorians were well-known for expressing emotions via flowers.
And the florists took off on that encouraging homes, churches, and cemeteries to buy bouquets as well as potted plants.
In 1918 the Society of American Florists came up with their "Say It With Flowers" slogan.
Jarvis lobbied against the florist industry's profit-making off her
holiday! She suddenly urged people to substitute celluloid buttons
for carnations. And, to tell them to stop buying flowers and cards
altogether. Unfortunately, she could not prevent other commercial
ventures for this holiday like increased telephone calls, vases,
figurines, candy, cards and so on.
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