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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day 100th Anniversary



Happy 100th Anniversary! This year marks 100 years since President Woodrow Wilson declared the very first observance of Mother's Day. In 1914, he officially deemed the second Sunday of May to be the day for its celebration.

Julia Ward Howe
Credit for the idea of a "Mother's Day" is divided between Julia Ward Howe (1872) and Anna Jarvis (1907). Julia Ward Howe is best known for the penning of a song that is just as patriotic today as when it was first written. The song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” In 1870, Howe - the well-known abolitionist, still grieving over the Civil War and angry about the start of the Franco-Prussian War, began to envision a new cause, a rallying of the world’s women to rise up and unite for peace. Out of her discontentment came the first line of a poem called “A Mother’s Day Proclamation.

The opening stanza of poetic challenge went like this:
Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:

“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.


We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
Anna Jarvis
The inception of Mother's Day focused on reasons much different from that which is celebrated today. Being born in the aftermath of the Civil War, it was a rallying cry for women worldwide to oppose war and fight for social justice. This was long before Mother’s Day became an international celebration of cards, bouquets, brunches, and gifts—a one-day momfest that here in the U.S. has grown into a $20-billion-dollar-a-year industry—this holiday was rooted, at least, here in America, in “radical feminism” and progressive Christianity.

Much like Howe, Anna Jarvis envisioned Mother's Day as a day to promote peace.
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.

“This is not what I intended. I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit.”
Anna Jarvis gave everything she had to the fight to reclaim Mother’s Day. However, in 1944, she sadly ended up dying penniless and broken in a sanitarium in Philadelphia, PA.



As for today, it is not just about flowers, candy, gifts and such but about honor and remembrance of Mothers. For those whose Mothers are still living, pick up the phone. The sound of a voice can have a much greater impact that any monetary gift.
To all Mothers, near and far...