Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Founder Of "Mother's Day" Actually Hated It

One hundred years ago tomorrow West Virginia became the first state in the United States to formally recognize "Mother's Day" as an official holiday, to be held on the second Sunday in May each year. It was founded by a woman named Anna Jarvis in honor of her own mother.  In 1912, she trademarked the terms "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day," but then, according to MSNBC, "she spent the rest of her life fighting the holiday's commercial and political exploitation."  

Anna Jarvis never married and had no children herself.  She and her sister spent their entire inheritance in subsequent years campaigning against the holiday Anna herself started. She died penniless and alone in an asylum in 1948, at the age of 84.  Here's an interesting quote from her, "A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment."

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