Why the Christian Who Started Mother's Day Later Denounced It
Celebrating mothers and all they do for their families has become a worldwide phenomenon, but where did it begin?
According to the History Channel, Anna Jarvis conceived the idea in the 19th century as a personal celebration between mothers and families.
It began with her "Mother's Day Work Club" to teach women in her community how to properly care for their children and her "Mothers' Friendship Day," in 1868 where mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation after the Civil War.
The official holiday took off in the 1900s after Jarvis organized the first celebration at her Methodist church in West Virginia.
Jarvis later set out on a mission to get the holiday recognized nationally, and succeeded with President Woodrow Wilson signed the measure declaring it official in 1914.
She envisioned the day involved "wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one's mother or attending church services."
She had worked with the floral industry to help garner attention for the holiday but ended up denouncing the holiday after commercialization took off.
Jarvis began an open campaign against Mother's Day profiteers in 1920. She filed several lawsuits against groups that had used the name "Mother's Day" and lobbied the government to get it removed from the American calendar.
According to the History Channel, by the time she died in 1948, she had disowned the holiday altogether.
Still today, Mother's Day is one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending in the United States.
The National Retail Federation reports that Mother's Day spending is expected to reach $23.1 billion this year.
They say 86 percent of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday this year, spending an average of $180 per person.
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