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Mother's Day - May 11, 2014
All countries celebrate some form of Mother's Day. The more usual time of the year for this occasion is in the spring, indicative of new life. Most observances are in the months of March, April, and May. In Ireland, the United Kingdom and nearby locations, the commemoration follows the older tradition of Mothering Sunday, which was in March or April.
In the U.S., Mother's Day is designated as the second Sunday in May. This became official in 1914 when it was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson after the passing of a bill in both houses as introduced by Rep. James T. Heflin (Alabama) and Sen. Morris Sheppard (Texas).
Mothering Sundays are traditional in many Christian denominations. Catholics mark Laetare Sunday as a time of honor for the Virgin Mary and the "mother" church of the area of the commemoration on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Servants were usually relieved of their duties on that Sunday so they could go to their home churches and visit family members.
The ancient Greeks had the festival to Cybele, mother of the Greek gods, which did not single out women as the honorees, but women were treated fondly during the celebration. The ancient Roman holiday of Matronalia was in honor of Juno, but mothers were given presents during the celebration.
In 1870, Julia Ward Howe wrote the "Mother's Day Proclamation" as a reaction to both the Franco-Prussian and the American Civil wars. Howe believed in the ability of women to affect change in society. Her early feminist movement called out for Mother's Day.
Anna Jarvis put forth the most work to have Mother's Day established as a yearly event. She began her quest when her mother died in 1907. Due mostly to her efforts, February 28, 1909 was the day of the first International Women's Day in the U.S. Jarvis was able to trademark the phrases "Mother's Day" and "second Sunday in May." She also created the Mother's Day International Association.
Jarvis was the one who was so set on having the apostrophe placed between the "r" and "s" so that it would be significant for each family to understand it was their mother singularly that was being honored.
President Woodrow Wilson made certain that the spelling was listed in the singular possessive when he made Mother's Day official. Other correspondence may show the plural possessive, even though it is not correct.
Anna Jarvis became disenchanted with the holiday because of the commercialism that became associated with it. She and her sister spent much of their families wealth campaigning against the direction people were going with the commemoration. They both died in poverty.
The commercialization of the holiday continued, and each year mothers across the country were bestowed with gifts, cards, flowers, candy, and other tokens of love and gratitude. Mother's Day is reportedly the most popular day of the year for dining out according to the NRA (National Restaurant Association).
Many countries celebrate Mother's Day on March 8, but most nations prefer to use dates that had already been put in place to honor mothers in their own particular country. Some places used dates that the predominate religion dictated. These can be based on the Virgin Mary for Catholics to the birth of Prophet Muhammad's daughter in Islam communities.
Postmaster General James Farley announced in the year 1934 a commemorative Mother's Day postage stamp. The stamp featured a famous painting called "Arrangement in Grey and Black," although it is more popularly known as "Whistler's Mother."
On Mother's Day 2011, remember a special mom. We all have one, and they are amazing individuals.
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