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Anna Jarvis
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    (September 30, 1832-1948)
    Birth name is Anna Maria Reeves Jarvis
    Holiday Founded in Grafton, West Virginia
    Mother's Day (May 13th) Holiday Started in her Honor
    Some historians confuse the holiday of Mother's Day and claim it emerged from the ancient festivals dedicated to the Mother Goddess, due to worshipping in ancient Greek and England's worshipping or 'Mothering Sunday' a.k.a 'Mid-Lent-Sunday. However, none were meant as current Mother's Day celebrations in the United States.
    She had to move around a lot.
    Her husband died in 1902, leaving her a widow.
    She had to move again and live with her son and two daughters when her beloved husband died.
    Her daughter professed regrets later at having started Mother's Day in her honor when it seemed to become a holiday of commercial greed and gifts.
    Her daughter filed a lawsuit to stop a Mother's Day festival and was once arrested for disturbing the peace.
    Her daughter started the day because she was devastated by her loss then tried to end the holiday she started, never married and never became a Mother herself.
    The creation of Mother's Day as a national holiday, by her daughter Anna, was inspired by her work with women's organizations.
    She organized a series of 'Mother's Day Work Clubs' in various counties where they raised money for medicine, aided families whose Mother's suffered from TB and did bottled milk and food inspections.
    Local doctors supported her formation of clubs in other towns (1860).
    She and her husband Granville E. Jarvis moved to Webster county Taylor West Virginia, where the B & O Railroad declared a strategic site during the Civil War in which Jarvis urged her clubs to profess neutrality by helping Union and Confederate soldiers.
    She was able to preserve a spark of peace in a torn community.
    The 'Mothers' Friendship Day' she organized at the courthouse in Pruntytown to bring together soldiers and neighbors of all political beliefs was successful, making the day an annual event for several years to follow.
    She taught Sunday School for twenty-five years, where her daughter, Anna, remembered her Mother once saying: 'I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother's day. There are many days for men, but none for mothers.'
    Her daughter Anna held a small tribute to her at Andrews Methodist Church (May 12, 1907) and dedicated her life to establishing a nationally recognized Mother's Day. The first official Mother's Day ceremonies were held a year later.
    Former President Woodrow Wilson signed a Congressional Resolution six years later, setting aside Mother's Day as a national holiday to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May.
    Her daughter passed out carnations, her favorite flower, at her favorite church in West Virgina, which started the white carnation being a symbol for Mother's Day.
    People continue to honor their Mothers', especially on this day, even though her daughter eventually tried to stop what she started.
    Telephone companies have the highest traffic on their lines on this day.

Credit: Skunk Butt

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