Friday, April 30, 2010

Mother's Day in America - Postcard Friendship Friday #9

 
In the United States, Mother's Day experienced a series of false starts. In 1858, Anna Reeves Jarvis was the first woman to hold an official celebration of mothers, when in her home state of West Virginia, she instituted Mothers' Work Day to raise awareness about local sanitation issues. During the Civil War, she expanded the scope of Mothers' Work Day to include sanitary conditions on both sides of the battlefield.

Meanwhile Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, attempted to institute a national celebration of mothers which honored women's inclinations toward peace, rather than cleanliness. (grin)  In 1872, she initiated and promoted a Mother's Day.  But it did not become the tradition we know today.

Then in 1905, Anna Jarvis, took up the Mother's Day torch. She swore on her mother's gravesite that she would realize her lifelong dream of creating a national day to honor mothers. In 1907,  Anna launched her campaign by giving white carnations to Mothers at her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia.

In 1908, the church honored her request - Incredibly, the tradition spread the very next year to churches in 46 states. WOW!  The power of one woman's voice was amazing.  In 1909, Anna left her job and dedicated herself to a full-time letter-writing campaign, imploring politicians, clergymen and civic leaders to institute a national day for mothers.


In 1912, Anna's efforts were met with success: Her home state of West Virginia adopted an official Mother's Day; two years later, the U.S. Congress passed a Joint Resolution, signed by President Wilson, establishing a national Mother's Day emphasizing the role of women in their families. Ever since, Mother's Day has been celebrated by Americans on the second Sunday in May.

This extraordinary woman has inspired me.  One woman, with one voice--inspired an entire nation to honor Mothers and their vital role.  WOW!



13 comments:

Clytie said...

And I'm so glad she did. Mothers definitely deserve a little recognition!

That card is amazing, sissie. I love it when postcards and greeting cards are personalized.

Happy PFF to you!!!

Bob of Holland said...

Hi Beth,

Today's a kind of SuperMom's Day, Queens Day, in my country, the Netherlands. Everyone is partying in the streets and is dressed in orange (because of Queen Beatrix of the House of Orange). The day is a mix of carnival and a super yard sale, while you can buy old books, videotapes and clothes everywhere. But no old postcards. Happy PFF and Mother's Day.

Lois said...

I think Anna is a hero! What a lovely card and I like that personal message at the top too.

Joy said...

Interesting history. Campaigning women are an inspiration, showing how one person can make a difference.

MuseSwings said...

Beautiful card and history of the day! While I lived in Michigan Spring was in full bloom every Mother's day. Perfect setting for a Mom

MuseSwings said...

Beth, my first Mr. Linky (#8) is incorrect - can you remove it please?

Snap said...

Wonderful card and wonderful information. Anna rocks! :D :D :D

Postcardy said...

Interesting information. I hadn't heard about the early efforts to promote a Mother's Day.

Paula said...

A wonderful post, Beth. A testament to the strength and determination that one can indeed produce great changes and make a difference!

I love celebrating Mother's Day and Father's Day ... for they are two extra days to show these remarkable people just how much they mean to me!

sarala said...

I didn't know any of that about Mother's Day. Thanks for sharing. The card is great--I don't own any Mother's Day PC's.

Sheila said...

A while ago I tried to find out about all the different Mothers' Days around the world, but of course I've forgotten all about it already. Thanks for this timely reminder of the American story.

I'm sorry to be so late this week. I put up a scheduled post because I've been away. We have a Bank Holiday weekend here in England but I'm not sure of the same applies anywhere else.

Debs said...

a gorgeous card and i just love the personalised addition on the front of the card. thanks for the historic background info too...i had no idea that mother's day was so "political" !

Lucy said...

A beautiful card. Got good news I hope and wrote about it on my first blog.