Anna Jarvis Founded the Day to Honor Her Mother, but…
One nice thing about the internet is the opportunity to go into greater depth about things we take for granted, like Mothers’ Day. According to an interesting article on the mental floss website, Mothers’ Day founder, Anna Jarvis, was later disillusioned by the commercialism of the holiday. Her mother was a remarkable woman, and that was the part of the story that especially caught my eye.
“Years after she founded Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis was dining at the Tea Room at Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia. She saw they were offering a “Mother’s Day Salad.” She ordered the salad and when it was served, she stood up, dumped it on the floor, left the money to pay for it, and walked out in a huff. Jarvis had lost control of the holiday she helped create, and she was crushed by her belief that commercialism was destroying Mother’s Day.
During the Civil War, Anna’s mother, Ann Jarvis, cared for the wounded on both sides of the conflict. She also tried to orchestrate peace between Union and Confederate moms by forming a Mother’s Friendship Day. When the elder Jarvis passed away in 1905, her daughter was devastated. She would read the sympathy cards and letters over and over, taking the time to underline all the words that praised and complimented her mother. Jarvis found an outlet to memorialize her mother by working to promote a day that would honor all mothers.”