May 11, 2014: Mother’s Day

#27 Richard C. SchulmanTo Miss Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia goes the credit for inspiring national recognition of a day set aside for veneration of mothers and motherhood. Her mother had been an active worker in the church and community affairs of the small Virginia town where she spent her entire life.

In the early 1900’s, shortly after her mother’s death, she was asked to arrange a special memorial service in the church her mother had attended. Realizing the universal beauty of the idea, Miss Jarvis, brought her experience to the attention of the church people in Philadelphia where she lived. On the second Sunday in May, 1908, the churches of the city observed their first Mother’s Day services. These services were so widely acclaimed that she quietly but persistently campaigned for nationwide observance.

Through her persuasion, Senator Burkett of Nebraska introduced a bill into Congress designating the second Sunday in May-the day on which Mrs. Jarvis was born as a national Mother’s Day. In May, 1914, the bill passed and it was President Wilson who signed the bill making it law, and it was he who proclaimed May 9, 1914, as the first Mother’s Day.


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