American Minute with Bill Federer
Mothers' Day was held in Boston in 1872 at the suggestion of Julia
Ward Howe, writer of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
But it was Anna Jarvis, daughter of a Methodist minister in Grafton,
West Virginia, who made it a national event.
During the Civil War, Anna Jarvis' mother organized Mothers' Day Work
Clubs to care for wounded soldiers, both Union and Confederate.
She raised money for medicine, inspected bottled milk, improved
sanitation and hired women to care for families where mothers
suffered from tuberculosis.
In her mother's honor, Anna Jarvis persuaded her church to set aside
the 2nd Sunday in May, the anniversary of her mother's death, as a
day to appreciate all mothers.
Encouraged by the reception, Anna Jarvis organized it in
Philadelphia, then began a letter-writing campaign to ministers,
businessmen and politicians to establish a national Mothers' Day.
In response, on MAY 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the
first National Mothers' Day as a "public expression of...love and
reverence for the mothers of our country."
President Reagan said in his Mother's Day Proclamation, 1986:
"A Jewish saying sums it up: 'God could not be everywhere - so He
In 2009, Mothers Day is Sunday, May 10th
to view Bill Federer's program "Faith in History."
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