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 grave site 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!