The original Mother’s Day started in the 1850s when a West Virginia woman’s organizer, Ann Reeves Jarvis, started mother’s work clubs to improve sanitary conditions, address milk contamination and lower infant mortality. The women’s groups took care of wounded soldiers in the Civil War. After the Civil War the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” of 1870 called on women to work for peace. The more traditional Mother’s Day observances began in 1908 and President Woodrow Wilson set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the first official Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis, daughter of founder Ann Reeves Jarvis, hated the commercialization of the holiday and even brought lawsuits against those who set out to raise money on the holiday.
To learn more about the original Mother’s Day celebrations in America, see: