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Founder of Mother's Day Did Not Favor Commercialization of the Day

by Kathy Jones on May 11, 2014 at 5:40 PM
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 Founder of Mother's Day Did Not Favor Commercialization of the Day

It has been revealed that Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother's Day, hated the idea that the holiday was being commercialized.

The American woman who single-handedly worked to make Mother's Day a national holiday was reportedly so disgusted to hear that a department store was having a Mother's Day sale that she threw her lunch on the floor, News.com.au reported.

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Following this, she dedicated her life to disbanding the day she spent six years campaigning Congress for.

Jarvis' original intention was that Mother's Day would be a day to honour the sacrifices women made for their families.

Jarvis's own mother, Ann, was instrumental in setting up Mother's Work Clubs across America, which originally served as a place where women were taught how to look after their children, but later served to bind communities together in a post-Civil War world. Jarvis Senior also organised a Mother's Friendship Day post-war, to try and repair relationships between soldiers and wives on both sides of the war.
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After Ann died, Jarvis was overwhelmed by the messages of support her mother received. She decided that all women needed a day in which they alone were honoured for their sacrifices for family and country, because too often women went unnoticed. She believed there were too many holidays dedicated to male achievements, and not enough recognising women.

The first Mother's Day was held in May 1908 in a Methodist church hall where Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday school in West Virginia, and at the Wanamaker's department store auditorium in Philadelphia.

For the next six years, Jarvis campaigned to have this day for women recognised. She wrote numerous letters and instructed supporters to wear a white carnation, take their mother to church, hold a family lunch or at the very least write a letter home.

Eventually, in 1914, Congress made Mother's Day an official holiday. By now, Jarvis was the president of the Mother's Day International Association - but her elation at the day to honour mums finally being recognised was short lived.

Confectioners and department stores quickly jumped on the Mother's Day bandwagon, selling special gifts and greeting cards. Telegraph companies encouraged people to send wires home rather than letters. Florists increased the price of white carnations, which became the emblem for Mother's Day.

Jarvis was outraged, calling these commercial providers "charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations."

Source: ANI
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