This year, Mother’s Day will be celebrated on May 12 in India and several other countries. On this day people devote themselves to doing something special for their mothers. While everyone in the world comes together to celebrate this day with their mothers, do you know about the woman who founded this day and because of her efforts at the start of the 20th century led the United States Congress to declare the second Sunday of May as an official holiday to mark this day?
The woman behind this was Anna Jarvis, a school teacher began her mission of establishing an eternal tribute to her mother after her death in 1905. On the second death anniversary of her mother, Anna Jarvis bought 500 white carnations for a memorial service she organized in her West Virginia hometown.
She distributed her mother’s favorite flowers among all the mothers in her church’s congregations. As per an article in Chicago Tribune, soon, Anna began persuading politicians, bureaucrats to lobby for a national holiday in her mother’s honor by making a nuisance of herself.
However, her efforts led to the Congress passing a joint resolution, signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 that marked the second Sunday in May as a national holiday.
But her work was not done yet, she quit her job and spent time in writing to the head of foreign countries to follow the footsteps of US and declare the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
As mother’s day slowly and gradually became a day for commercial benefits for florists, card shops and candy shops, Anna began to go against them to stop the commercialization of the truest celebration she referred to as.
Also in the 1930s, Jarvis was raged when the US postmaster announced a Mother’s Day commemorative stamp bearing artist James McNeill Whistler’s portrait tribute to his beloved mother. Following which she sought an audience with President and succeeded in having Mother’s Day removed from the issues.
According to Chicago Tribune, “she stormed into a meeting of the American War Mothers and tried to break up their sale of white carnations for Mother’s Day. The police had to drag her out, kicking and screaming.”
Jarvis was soon founded to be wandering the streets and showing strangers the old photos of herself and her mother which were taken at the time of her mother’s death.
Eventually, she shut herself away in her dilapidated house before she was sent to a sanitarium and she died at the age of 84. Ironically, her medical bills were paid by people in the floral and greeting card industries.