Sunday, May 11



he modern celebration was the brain child of Jarvis, in honour of her own mother, also named Anna.

In 1905 when Anna Jarvis (snr) died, her daughter started a campaign to memorialise the life work of her mother and began to lobby prominent businessmen and politicians.

In 1908, Anna wrote to the Andrew's Methodist Church in West Virginia requesting that a Mother's Day service be held in honour of her mother, who was a Sunday school teacher at the church.

The first official Mother's Day celebration was held at the church on May 10, 1908. Jarvis sent 500 white carnations to be worn by each son and daughter and two by each mother in attendance.

Five years later, the US house of representatives adopted a resolution calling for officials of the federal government to wear white carnations on Mother's Day.

In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a Bill recognising Mother's Day as a national holiday.

According to, the holiday flourished in the US and flowers, especially white carnations, became very popular. One business journal, Florists Review, went so far as to print, "This was a holiday that could be exploited."

The commercialisation of the day disturbed Jarvis so much that in 1923 she sued to stop a Mother's Day event, and, according to mothers, in the 1930s she was arrested for disturbing the peace at the American War Mothers group - protesting against their sale of flowers.

In 1938 an article in Time magazine reported that Jarvis was fighting to copyright Mother's Day.

On its website mothers said in opposition to the flower industry's exploitation of the holiday, Jarvis wrote, "What will you do to rout charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and other termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations?"

Jarvis died in 1948, blind, poor and childless.

However, Mother's Day lives on and it continues to be a bumper weekend for florists, restaurants and gift shops.


1 comment:

---> kelat said...

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