Mother's Day Turns 100: Its Surprisingly Dark History

Mothers Day was invented by Anna Jarvis after her mother passed away in 1905. Woodrow Wilson officially designated the holiday as the second Sunday in May in 1914, so this year marks 100 years of Mothers Days. But to Jarvis, it was Mother’s Day -with an apostrophe- meaning a day for each person to honor their own mother; a private family occasion.

Anna Jarvis's idea of an intimate Mother's Day quickly became a commercial gold mine centering on the buying and giving of flowers, candies, and greeting cards—a development that deeply disturbed Jarvis. She set about dedicating herself and her sizable inheritance to returning Mother's Day to its reverent roots.

Jarvis incorporated herself as the Mother's Day International Association and tried to retain some control of the holiday. She organized boycotts, threatened lawsuits, and even attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother's Day to raise funds for charities.

Read the story of how Mothers Day was founded, and Jarvis’ fight to return it to her original vision, at NatGeo News. -via Digg

(Image credit: Olairian)

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