When is Mother’s Day 2019?
Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May. In 2019, it’s Sunday, May 12th.
2020: Sunday, May 10
2021: Sunday, May 9
The Interesting History of Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a special day in which we honor mothers each year. It’s a wonderful occasion to shower mom with flowers, goodies, brunch—all things to let her know how much she is appreciated. But how did the “holiday” originate?
The origin of Mother’s Day has been associated with Miss Anna M. Jarvis. Jarvis (b. May 1, 1864 – Nov. 24, 1948), an especially devoted daughter who was concerned about the neglect shown to mothers by grown children.After her own mother’s death in 1905, Jarvis grieved. The following year, she asked friends to come to her church in Grafton, West Virginia, on the first Sunday in May to commemorate the anniversary of her mother’s death. In 1907, Jarvis promoted a Mother’s Day service at the church, and she donated carnations (her mother’s favorite flower) to every mother in the congregation.
Anna Jarvis worked hard to promote the holiday, writing letters to churches, politicians, and city leaders. She had enlisted the help of John Wanamaker (the pioneer of marketing and advertising) and Henry J. Heinz (of Heinz Ketchup fame) to help her start a movement, and it worked. Jarvis’ efforts resulted in a resolution ultimately being passed in Congress, dedicating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. By 1911, all of the states in the union had Mother’s Day proclamations. And she was very clear that the holiday was to be called “Mother’s” Day (singular) —”to honor the best mother who ever lived—yours.”
In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother’s Day an annual national observance.
Unfortunately, as time went on, Anna M. Jarvis was soured to the Mother’s Day holiday, saying it had gotten too commercial. So much so, that by 1920, she started convincing people to stop buying flowers and other gifts for mothers, even going head-to-head with the floral industry and other industries who helped her initially fight for the holiday. Her ideal gift to mothers, she thought, was to write a heartfelt letter. “Any mother would rather have a line of the worst scribble from her son or daughter than any fancy greeting card,” she said. She came to loathe the holiday until her dying day in 1948, but her holiday lives on.
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