Most of the time, however, there is a story behind the scene, sometimes hard fought, to make these official honor days come about.
Worldwide there are many different forms of celebrating Mothers’ Day, with different origins and traditions. Today, many have been swayed by the American Mothers’ Day.
◄ Ann Reeves Jarvis - Image credit : E-Wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia
Image Source: wvpublic.org/radio/-ann-jarvis-born-in-virginia
In 1868, Ann Jarvis created a committee to establish a “Mothers’ Friendship Day” with the purpose of bring together families separated during the Civil War. Jarvis was an organizer, and had already been successful putting together “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” aimed at improving health conditions for both Union and Confederate military camps which were suffering an outbreak of typhoid. Jarvis wanted to expand this into an annual memorial for mothers, but died in 1905 before the idea had taken hold.
Julia Ward Howe ►
Image Source: explorepahistory.com/.php?imgId=1-2-158F
Meanwhile, Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Jarvis, decided to continue her mother’s effort to have Mothers’ Day recognized as a national holiday. On May 10, 1908, Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton and in Philadelphia, launching the observance of a general memorial day for all mothers, making Andrews the mother church of Mothers’ Day.
They succeeded and, in 1914, the U.S. House and Senate approved a resolution proclaiming the second Sunday of May as Mother's Day. President Woodrow Wilson endorsed it, and Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan proclaimed it.
◄ Anna Jarvis
Image Source: wesa.fm/arts-sports-culture/anna-jarvis
Before long, Jarvis became embittered by the commercialization of the holiday, and in 1923 filed a lawsuit to stop a festival. She was arrested for disturbing the peace at a war mothers' convention where women sold white carnations - Jarvis' symbol for mothers - to raise money.
She spent the rest of her life going after those who she believed commercialized the holiday and took away its real meaning. Jarvis she had nearly three dozen Mother’s Day-related lawsuits pending, including one against a nonprofit organization run by the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Obviously confused and annoyed, Roosevelt told the New York Times that “I think (Jarvis) misunderstands us. She wanted Mother’s Day observed. We want it observed, are working for its observance and are really aiding her.”
Jarvis also went after the US Postal Service because they issued a Mother’s Day stamp featuring a white carnation, which she thought was a blatant advertisement for the floral industry.
According to Wikipedia, “When she died in 1948 …. at age 84, Jarvis had become a woman of great ironies. Never a mother herself, her maternal fortune dissipated by her efforts to stop the commercialization of the holiday she had founded, Jarvis told a reporter shortly before her death that she was sorry she had ever started Mother's Day.”
A SAD STORY
Anna Jarvis’s story is, indeed, a sad one. Today, Jarvis would have a real fit.
I agree with Eleanor Roosevelt. Both Jarvis’ wanted us to honor our mothers for everything they are to all of us, and that is what most of us want to do. Yes, everything is too commercialized, but that still doesn’t spoil the meaning. Besides, each of us as individuals don’t have to take part in that and, just maybe, a bouquet of flowers is what mother wants.
Note: Just out of curiosity, I made a list of the official honor days I could find easily.
January 24 National Poverty in America Awareness Day
January 26 National mentoring day
February 4 National Nieces' Day
March 4 Employee Appreciation Day
April 4 National School Librarian Appreciation Day
April 10 Sibling Day
April 16 Librarian appreciation day
April 18 Own worst Enemy Day
April 25 National Hairstylist Appreciation Day
April 27 Administrative Professionals Day (previously Secretaries Day)
June 5 Pet Appreciation Day
June 8 National Best Friends Day
June 19 Fathers Day
July 24 Parents’ Day
July 26 National Aunt and Uncle Day
August 17 Baby Boomers Recognition Day
August 17 National Black Cat Appreciation Day
August 26 Dog Appreciation day
September 11 Grandparents Day
October 1 International Day Of Older Persons
October 5 Teachers’ Day
October 9 Pastor Appreciation Day
October 17 National Boss’ Day
November 20 Universal Children's Day
And many more