陵 輯

May 4, 2000

Mother's Day

Interest Starts in the United States


Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948) is credited with originating our Mothers Day holiday.  She never married and was extremely attached to her mother, Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis.  Mrs. Jarvis was a minister's daughter who for 20 years taught Sunday School in the Andrews Methodist Church of Grafton, West Virginia.  Miss Jarvis graduated from the Female Seminary in Wheeling, West Virginia, and taught in Grafton before moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the rest of her family.  Anna Reese Jarvis died in Philadelphia In May of 1905.  Still unmarried and left alone with her blind sister Elsinore, Anna missed her mother greatly.  Two years after her mothers death (1907) Anna Jarvis and her friends began a letter-writing campaign to gain the support of influential ministers, businessmen and congressmen in declaring a national Mothers Day holiday.  She felt children often neglected to appreciate their mother enough while the mother was still alive.  She hoped Mothers Day would increase respect for parents and strengthen family bonds.


The First Mothers DAY


The first Mothers Day observance was a church service honoring Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis, held at Anna Jarvis's request in Grafton, West Virginia, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 10, 1908.  Carnations, her mothers favorite flowers, were supplied at that first service by Miss Jarvis.  White carnations were chosen because they represented the sweetness, purity and endurance of mother love.  Red carnations, in time, became the symbol of a living mother.  White ones now signify that one's mother has died.


Other Mothers DAY Observances


The first Mothers Day proclamation was issued by the governor of West Virginia in 1910.  Oklahoma celebrated Mothers Day that year as well.  By 1911 every state had its own observances.  By then other areas celebrating Mothers Day included Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, South America and Africa.  The Mothers Day International Association was incorporated on December 12, 1912, with the purpose of furthering meaningful observations of Mothers Day.


Official Proclamation


The House of Representatives in May, 1913, unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the President, his Cabinet, members of Congress, and all officials of the federal government to wear a white carnation on Mothers Day.  Congress passed another Joint Resolution May 8,1914, designating the second Sunday in May as Mothers Day.  The U.S. flag is to be displayed on government buildings and at people's homes as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.  President Woodrow Wilson issued the first proclamation making Mothers Day an official national holiday.


So Now What?


If your mother is still alive, take care to shower her with special attention this Mothers Day.  Visit her.  Phone her.  Send her a card. Give her flowers. Get her gourmet chocolates. Buy her something you know she's been wanting.  But don't wait until after her funeral to let her know how much you've appreciated her! Wear your  

red (or otherwise-color) carnation proudly.