One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Anna Jarvis: Mother's Day Founder in U.S.

Anna Marie Jarvis (May 1, 1864, Webster, West Virginia – November 24, 1948, West Chester, Pennsylvania) is the founder of the Mother's Day holiday in the United States.

Anna Jarvis was born in the tiny town of Webster, West Virginia. Her birthplace, known as the Anna Jarvis House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.[1] She was the daughter of Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. The family moved to nearby Grafton, West Virginia in her childhood. She graduated from what is now Mary Baldwin College in 1883.

Anna's mother Ann Jarvis had founded Mothers' Day Work Clubs in five cities to improve sanitary and health conditions. The Mothers' Day Work Clubs also treated wounds, fed, and clothed both Union and Confederate soldiers with neutrality.

On May 12, 1907, two years after her mother's death, Anna held a memorial to her mother and thereafter embarked upon a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday. She succeeded in making this nationally recognized in 1914. The International Mother's Day Shrine was established in Grafton to commemorate her accomplishment.[2]

By the 1920s, Anna Jarvis had become soured by the commercialization of the holiday. She incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association, trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and was once arrested for disturbing the peace. She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against what the holiday had become. Both died in poverty. According to her New York Times obituary, Jarvis became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said,
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.
—Anna Jarvis.[3][4]
Anna Marie Jarvis never married and had no children. She died in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and was buried at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.


[From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Jarvis]


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