Surprising history behind Mother’s Day


Mackenzie Murphy

Sophomore Mackenzie and her mom share a selfie on a recent Snowshoe ski weekend.

Kelsey Fitzgerald , Staff Writer

Most people assume Mother’s Day is to praise mothers; however, there’s more history to the holiday than most know.

Mother’s Day originated back before the 1900’s when a woman named Anna Jarvis set out to honor her mother, who died on the second Sunday of May of 1905.  According to an article entitled on, reporter Laura Coffey shares that Jarvis wanted to honor her mom, Ann Reese Jarvis, for the activist efforts she had made to reduce infant mortality rates. Her mom lost nine children in the course of her life.

“I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will find a memorial Mother’s Day commemorating [every mom] for the matchless service she renders to humanity,” said Ann Reese Jarvis. Her daughter became that someone.

Jarvis’s mother was also a community leader who cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Another activist, Julia Howe, is also credited for the roots of Mother’s Day, who suggested a Mother’s Peace Day to support mothers during this war.

Although the past behind Mother’s Day is laced with grief, it evolved over time into a popular holiday. In fact, it was so popular that it brought Anna Jarvis regret. She did not want the holiday to become commercialized or political. Though it has become commercialized, it is still a day to honor all mothers, a day to enjoy quality time and take the chance to express their love and appreciation for them. 

¨Something I do with my mom on Mother’s Day is take her out to lunch because she just enjoys spending time with me and doesn’t ask for much more,” said sophomore Mackenzie Murphy. 

Makenzie is not the only person who plans to share a little love May 9.

“For those who are close with their mothers, this is a great opportunity to spend time together and show appreciation. Whether through kind words, gifts, or quality time, one can reflect on all of the blessings of having a mother,” said math teacher, Rebecca Mindling.