Anna Jarvis, the creator of Mother's Day.
Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston.
Mother’s Day (Second Sunday in May)
Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, when mothers are honored by their children. Many countries celebrate Mother’s Day, usually in May, as a day to honor mothers. In England, Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday, has been celebrated for hundreds of years on the fourth Sunday of Lent (usually March or April). In the United States, children express their affection for their mothers through gifts, flowers, greeting cards, and other tokens of appreciation.The first Mother’s Day in the United States was proclaimed by activist Julia Ward Howe in 1870 in Boston to promote peace after the bloodshed of the U.S. Civil War. Early Mother’s Days were often celebrated by women’s peace groups working for pacifism and disarmament. In the early twentieth century, Anna Marie Jarvis celebrated Mother’s Day to honor her mother (also named Anna Jarvis), who fought for peace and worker’s health and safety. Jarvis organized a large-scale celebration of Mother’s Day. The idea won widespread acceptance. In 1910, the state of West Virginia first recognized Mother’s Day as a holiday, and U.S. president Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation in 1914 declaring the second Sunday in May “Mother’s Day.”