Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there. And, a special wish for a great day to my Mom! I can’t wait until the family reunion next month.

I haven’t really ever wondered how Mothers Day got started before, but for some reason today I googled it and found some interesting history tidbits over at the wikipedia Mothers Day entry. According to them:

In the United States, Mother’s Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother’s Day for Peace.

Her idea was influenced by Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers’ Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.

When Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. In 1907, she passed out 500 white carnations at her mother’s church, St. Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia—one for each mother in the congregation. The first Mother’s Day service was celebrated on 10 May 1908, in the same church, where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Anna chose Sunday to be Mother’s Day to be a Sunday because she intended the day to be commemorated and treated as a Holy Day. Later commercial and other exploitations of the use of Mothers Day infuriated Anna and she made her criticisms explicitly known throughout her time.

I also found it amusing that according to the wikipedia entry:

Mother’s Day will generate about 7.8% of the US jewelry industry’s annual revenue in 2008. Americans are expected to spend close to $3.51 billion in 2008 on dining out for Mother’s Day, with brunch and dinner being the most popular dining out options

Yup, count us in those numbers. Not the jewelry, but in the dining out. We took Suzanne out for brunch today. Thank goodness she isn’t a fan of jewelry.