- New Museum Project
- Temporary Exhibits
- Online Exhibits
Date(s) - 05/08/2016
No information available
This Mother’s Day, stop by the Museum store to pick up something special for your mom!
Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in spring. The United States celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May.
In 1872 Julia Ward Howe called for women to join in support of disarmament and asked for 2 June 1872, to be established as a “Mother’s Day for Peace”. Her 1870 “Appeal to womanhood throughout the world” is sometimes referred to as Mother’s Day Proclamation. But Howe’s day was not for honoring mothers but for organizing pacifist mothers against war. In the 1880s and 1890s there were several further attempts to establish an American “Mother’s Day”, but these did not succeed beyond the local level.
The current holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908 as a day to honor one’s mother. Jarvis wanted to accomplish her mother’s dream of making a celebration for all mothers, although the idea did not take off until she enlisted the services of wealthy Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker, who celebrated it on 8 May 1910 in Bethany Temple Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA of which he was the founder. In a letter to the pastor, she said it was, “our first Mother’s Day”. Jarvis kept promoting the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made the day an official national holiday in 1914. The holiday eventually became so highly commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a “Hallmark holiday,” i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose. Jarvis eventually ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create. This economic modernization was inspired by US models and was sponsored by the state. She died in 1948, regretting what had become of her holiday.
In the United States, Mother’s Day remains one of the biggest days for sales of flowers, greeting cards, and the like; Mother’s Day is also the biggest holiday for long-distance telephone calls. Moreover, churchgoing is also popular on Mother’s Day, yielding the highest church attendance after Christmas Eve and Easter. Many worshipers celebrate the day with carnations, colored if the mother is living and white if she is deceased.