The celebration of Mother`s Day is a special day for families across the world but its origin has a history to regret.
The celebration began in the United States in 1908 when Anna Jarvis wanted to honor the memory of her mother Ann Reeves Jarvis, a family activist during the Civil War of the United States in the 19th century. Reeves Jarvis had founded Mother’s Day Friendship Clubs in order to unify the Union and Confederate sides. The woman was known by many as "Mama Jarvis".
The activist died in 1905 and her daughter began a fight to make a holiday in her name. A church in Grafton, West Virginia, responded to the request with a religious service. Anna Jarvis brought carnations, which were her mother`s favorite flowers. The woman got the event to be supported by florists and other local merchants.
President Woodrow Wilson recognized Mother`s Day as a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May. This unleashed a commercialization of the celebration that bothered Anna Jarvis, who began to sue companies that will use "Mother`s Day" in advertising campaigns. Anna Jarvis came to have disputes with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who used the holiday for charity campaigns.
Anna Jarvis was arrested in 1925 when she tried to crash a meeting of the American War Mothers, a non-profit support group of women whose sons served in the armed forces. She was admitted to a sanatorium in 1940 when she was bankrupt. There she died in 1948. Her medical expenses were paid by the flower companies and greeting cards.
Anna became so consumed with her battle that a number of her friends arranged for her to be admitted into an asylum in 1944. She died four years later, at the age of 84, with no money or children.
Of course, since then, Mother`s Day has become even more of a source of income. In addition to Hallmark card lines and gourmet chocolates, Mother`s Day gifts now include everything from purses and handbags to diamond rings and spa packages.
Anna would be happy the day is celebrated internationally and that it has survived so long.