Sunday is Mother’s Day in the United States.
The second Sunday in May is a day especially designated to show moms and other mother figures how much they are loved and appreciated. It is a day full of cards and flowers, telephone calls and acts of kindness for moms. Many moms enjoy breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day.
The origins of Mother’s Day in the U.S. began before the Civil War when Ann Reeves Jarvis, who lived in West Virginia, began Mother’s Day Work Clubs to teach women the intricacies of taking care of their children.
After the war, Jarvis organized Mothers’ Friendship Day. On this day, women from the clubs met with former Union and Confederate soldiers in the spirit of reconciliation.
Jarvis died in 1905, but her daughter, Anna, campaigned for a national holiday honoring motherhood. She also argued that American holidays honored male achievements, while ignoring the achievements of women.
In 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. After a few years, Anna Jarvis became disillusioned with the commercialization of the day, which is not a federal holiday in the United States.
By the time Anna Jarvis died in 1948, she had disowned the occasion and lodged lawsuits against groups that used the term “Mother’s Day.”
There are Mother’s Day commemorations in other countries, celebrated on different days.