Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

The celebration of Mother’s Day dates back all the way to ancient times, but the idea of the celebration was first kicked around in 1872. Julia Ward Howe, author of the words to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” proposed Mother’s Day as a day dedicated to peace. Howe’s "Mother's Day Proclamation" written in 1870 was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother's Day in the United States. It was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War; it also was tied to Howe's feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.

Ann Jarvis of West Virginia also pushed for a national day to honour mothers. On the second anniversary of her mother’s death, Jarvis asked her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia, to celebrate a day to honour mothers. Her mother had died on the second Sunday in May. The church obliged and the following year, the city of Philadelphia joined in the celebration. Thanks to a campaign by Jarvis and her supporters, by 1911 almost every state in the USA celebrated Mother’s Day.

Other countries also celebrate Mother’s Day, but some on different days. In England, Mothering Sunday is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Years ago, when I was studying in Europe, a classmate and I discovered that folks in that country were going to celebrate Mother’s Day. We rushed to the card shop, got the cards, airmailed them back to Canada and telephoned (an expensive proposition) to cover the bases … only to discover Mother’s Day was a few weeks down the road back home.

Anyway, if you’re a mom on this day, Happy Mother’s Day!

1 comment:

Wisewebwoman said...

Backatcha, VP, though I'm a little late, it was a working day for me.