Who Really Started Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day really started as an anti-war statement, however the battle still rages on when it comes to its actual origin.

Anna Jarvis is the woman who is often most credited as being the founder of Mother’s Day in America. President Woodrow Wilson announced that Mother’s Day would fall on the second Sunday in May back in 1914; however, various aspects of Mother’s Day have spread around the globe with some meddling with the local traditions.

Julia Ward Howe, best known as the author of, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” was responsible for promoting a Mother’s Day Peace Day back in 1872. For Howe and the other activists who were against war, Mother’s Day was a way to help promote global unity after the Franco-Prussian War in Europe and the Civil War in America.

Howe wanted women to gather once every year in social halls, churches and parlors to sing hymns, pray, listen to sermons and to present essays all to promote peace and unity.

New York, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia held their annual Mother’s Day services on June 2 until about 1913. However, the early Mother’s Day activities faded when the promoters started taking center stage. Most notable was Frank Hering, a former football coach who started promoting an earlier version of Mother’s Day becoming famous for Kidnapping Mother’s Day.

The former faculty member and Coach from the University of Notre Dame proposed the idea of Mother’s Day before Anna Jarvis did.

In 1904, Mr. Hering urged the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Indianapolis to support Mother’s Day in the memory of both motherhood and mothers. Although no particular day was suggested, he did say that it should fall on a Sunday. The local Fraternal Order of Eagles took the challenge with the organization still calling themselves the, “True Founders of Mother’s Day.

Of course, Anna Jarvis did not like the idea of Mother’s Day having a father and blasted him in a statement back in the 1920’s with the headline, “Kidnapping Mother’s Day: Will you Be an Accomplice?” Jarvis, who was never a mother herself, was probably acting out of ego when she signed everything as Anna Jarvis, Founder of Mother’s Day.

This year take a moment to think about all of the people who take credit for Mother’s Day and just be glad that it is still celebrated.

Happy Mother’s Day from SOUTHWEST SUNSHINE!