The following article may show the date as 2012 but the information is timeless.
Mother’s Day 2012: The History
By Susie Davids
She’s honored in many countries around the globe. She’s a nurturer and peace maker by definition. She’s the female who gave life to you…That’s right, your dear ‘ole Mum.
Every mother, the world over, deserves to be pampered every so often. What better opportunity to do so than Mothers Day? Mother’s Day 2012 falls on Sunday March 18th this year. It’s time to show Mum just how much she means to you. But what are all the chocolates, flowers, cards and so forth, all about?
Well, it’s all down to two women, one named Julia Ward Howe – an abolitionist best remembered as the poet who wrote ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ – the other named Anna Jarvis, daughter of activist and social worker, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis.
But believe it or not, UK Mothers Day is a relatively new phenomenon – it’s only just over a hundred years old!
In 1870, Julia Ward Howe worked to launch a Mother’s Peace Day. She became so troubled by the bloody battles of the Civil War that she called on mothers to come together in unison to make an objection about the ridiculousness of their sons killing each other.
What’s more, in 1870, she even created an appeal to women urging them to protest against the war in her world-famous ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation’:
“Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts…
Let them then solemnly take counsel
With each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed…
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.”
Howe proposed the official idea of this day in 1872, which would be dedicated to peace and worldwide harmony between all women.
A dutiful daughter, Anna Jarvis never forgot her Mum’s dream of having Mother’s Day, and when her mother passed away in 1905, she decided to make her mother’s wish come true.
Initially, Anna distributed 500 white carnations, her mother’s favourite flower, at her mother’s Church in Grafton, West Virginia, one for each mother in the congregation. She believed they symbolised a mother’s pure love.
In 1907, Jarvis began to campaign to have Mother’s Day officially recognised. It wasn’t until 1914 that her wish was granted by President Woodrow Wilson, who proclaimed it a national holiday and a “public expression of our love and reverence for all mothers.”
However, Mothers Day 2012 bears little resemblance to Howe’s original idea. Nowadays, it’s all about Mothers Day gifts, cards and lavish meals at restaurants. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, but the original idea behind this day lies in the heartfelt words of the proclamation Howe wrote in 1870.
This year, bear in mind the lengths these revolutionary women went to in order to establish this official day and why they did it. Their willpower drove them to fight for the recognition mothers deserve.
So you’ve heard the history behind Mother s Day, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to plan something special for your beloved Mum this year.
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