Learn About The Birth of Mother’s Day
Anna Jarvis put Mother’s Day on the calendar as a day dedicated to expressing love and gratitude to mothers, acknowledging the sacrifices women make for their children. That’s why she was determined to keep “Mother’s” a singular possessive, as marked by the apostrophe before “s.” Each family should celebrate its own mother, so that individual women across the country could feel the love, even in the midst of a broad celebration of motherhood.
Other Mother’s Days
Before Anna Jarvis worked to get a day just for recognizing mothers, her own mom played an important role in uniting women for good causes. Mama Jarvis—also known as Ann Reeves Jarvis—cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the field during the Civil War, and in its aftermath she organized a “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” the goal of which was to foster reconciliation between former Union and Confederate soldiers by having them come together, along with mothers from both sides. With the senior Jarvis’ lifelong focus on caring for children and promoting peace, it’s no wonder her daughter fought for a day just for moms.
At around the same time Ann Reeves Jarvis was working with mothers in the spirit of peace, Julia Ward Howe, another activist—as well as abolitionist and suffragette—worked to have June 2 be celebrated as “Mother’s Peace Day,” and wrote a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” calling on mothers to work toward world peace.