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Mother’s Day History and Fun Facts

April 15, 2022

Learn All About Mother’s Day History

It comes every year yet remains special in everyone’s heart. Mother’s Day is known as a day to celebrate everything moms and mom-like figures do for us. What some people may not know is that Mother’s Day has a complicated history.

The Beginning of Mother’s Day

You may be surprised to know that Mother’s Day didn’t start out as a day to celebrate moms. Instead, it was a day to educate new moms on how to raise healthy children. This get-together was started by Ann Jarvis.

The focus on education was because Jarvis’ own motherhood was tragic. While she gave birth to 13 children, only four became adults.

This sort of situation was common because of conditions in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There was a severe hygiene problem and medicine couldn’t help with as many illnesses as it can today.

doctor looking at an Asian baby while the mother is holding them

When Ann Jarvis was pregnant with her sixth child, she asked her brother, a doctor, to help her. The two of them created events where doctors and mothers could talk about how they can keep children healthy.

They were known as Mothers’ Day Work Clubs.

From One Jarvis to Another

In 1908, Anna Jarvis sent 500 white carnations to Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. She did this to honor her mom, Ann Jarvis. That’s right, the same Ann Jarvis from the section above.

hand holding a few white carnations against an orange background

Anna Jarvis also held a celebration in Philadelphia that same day, which is considered the first Mother’s Day.

Though Mother’s Day wasn’t an official holiday in America until 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day.

Nowadays, the holiday is celebrated all over the world, either on the second Sunday in May or in a different form on a different day. The core value of honoring mother figures stays the same no matter how it’s celebrated.

8 Fun Facts About This Holiday

1. There are arguments of who officially started Mother’s Day. Other than Ann and Anna Jarvis, there is Julia Ward Howe, Mary Towels, and Juliet Calhoun that have ties to the holiday.

2. Marketing help make Mother’s Day stick. Anna Jarvis quit her job in 1912 to create the Mother’s Day International Association. She used different partnerships and ran letter-writing campaigns to state governors to get the holiday recognized.

3. The creator of Mother’s Day ended up hating the holiday. By the end of her life, Anna Jarvis felt that the holiday had been turned into all about making profits instead of honoring mothers. She spent the rest of her life trying to get rid of the holiday and get it unrecognized by the government.

4. Anna Jarvis never became a mom. She was single her entire life, completely dedicated to Mother’s Day in one way or another.

5. At Anna Jarvis’ death, Mother’s Day was celebrated in over 40 countries.

6. Mother’s Day is often a day of protests. These protests usually involve issues surrounding mothers and women from all walks of life.

7. People spend more money on moms than dads, sorry dads of the world…

White girl and dad are giving mom mother's day gifts

8. There are around 82.5 million mothers in America and 2 billion around the world.

Help Everyone Celebrate Mother’s Day!

So, there’s a bit of Mother’s Day history and some fun facts to go along with it. Did anything surprise you?

With Mother’s Day coming up, make sure to check out our Mother’s Day selling guide for product ideas and marketing tips to grab your customers’ attention.