Mother’s Day Turns 100 Years Old This Year, Here’s How It Started

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Religion author Antonia Blumberg says Mothers Day turns 100 years old in 2014 and was started by a radical feminist named Ann Reeves Jarvis.


Reported by Nigel Boys

According to Antonia Blumberg, a religious writer for the Huffington Post, one of the main reasons we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day being made a national holiday this year, is because of the hard work of radical feminist activists who fought for that cause.

In a recent post, Blumberg writes that one of the leading women to get Mother’s Day recognized by the government was Ann Reeves Jarvis, a West Virginian woman who, before the Civil War, organized “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to educate women on the importance of health and sanitation.

The social activist, who was also a strong believer in Christ, spent most of her years tending to the needs of wounded soldiers during the Civil War.

Jarvis also taught Sunday school at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, WV, where a Mother’s Day Shrine is on display.

The daughter of Jarvis, Anna Jarvis, said that during one of her lessons at Sunday school, she heard her mother say that she hoped that one day someone would honor the work of mothers around the world by commemorating it with a national mother’s day.

However, Jarvis died in 1905, which was nine years before she could witness President Woodrow Wilson turn her dream into a reality by making Mother’s Day an official holiday in 1914.

Anna Jarvis went on to become one of the women responsible for the realization of her mother’s wishes and prayers when she started campaigning politicians and local business owners to help her celebrate an unofficial Mother’s Day celebration in a Methodist church in Grafton.

In remembrance of the life of her mother, Jarvis is said to have distributed 500 white carnations at the Methodist church in 1907, an act that led to the church holding a special Mother’s Day service one year later.

Apparently this yearly tradition started by the younger Jarvis, caught on in different churches around the country, and with the help of various organizations like the YMCA and the World Sunday School Association, eventually led to President Wilson declaring the national holiday as we know it today.