May 11th, 2012
Happy Anti-War Mother’s Day
It’s worth repeating that the 1870 impetus for the American Mother’s Day holiday was remorse by Julia Ward Howe, composer of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. To her, the Civil War was futile. Mothers on both sides lost their sons to other mothers’ sons. She called for an international Mother’s Day to celebrate peace and motherhood and funded the early celebrations in 18 cities. Read her full proclamation here.
West Virginian Anna Jarvis modified Howe’s day to become Mothers’ Friendship Day to celebrate the reunion of families divided by the Civil War. Her daughter, Anna M. Jarvis, kept the flame alive by staging the first official Mother’s Day celebrations on May 10, 1908 in a Methodist church in Grafton, WV and another in Philadelphia. White carnations were given to attending mothers. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day a national observance.
Jarvis unsuccessfully fought the florist industry’s exploitation of the holiday until her death in 1948. For a fuller history, go here.
This entry was posted on Friday, May 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am and is filed under Commentary by G. Namie. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.