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The History of Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis, of West Virginia,  worked for three years petitioning for the Mother’s Day holiday to honor her own mother, Ann Jarvis. In 1868, Ann Jarvis created a Mother’s Friendship Day to help reunite families torn apart by the Civil War. The first Mother’s Day was at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, WV.  West Virginia declared Mother’s Day an official holiday in 1910.

Ann chose a white carnation as the official flower of Mother’s Day because it represented truth, purity, and a mother’s love.

President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1914. Just like the floral industry, the greeting card industry saw a huge opportunity for profit. Anna was mortified and stated that “A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”

Ann’s frustration continued to grow as more flowers, cards, and candy came to represent Mother’s Day. She resented this profit-making approach to the holiday so much that she petitioned in 1943 that it be removed as a national holiday. She spent the last few years of her life in a sanitarium and died in 1948.

It’s not too late to treat your mom to an overnight stay to celebrate Mother’s Day.

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