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Holiday History

Celebrated on May 9, 2021 in the U.S.

Anna M. Jarvis, born in 1864 in Webster, West Va., is credited as the force behind Mother’s Day. When Jarvis was 41 years old, her mother died. On the second anniversary of her mother’s death, Jarvis made public her plans to establish a day to honor mothers. On the third anniversary (the second Sunday in May 1908), “mother’s day” church services were held in Grafton, W. Va., and a celebration of mothers was held at the Wanamaker Store Auditorium in Philadelphia, Pa. 

The observance became official in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation naming the second Sunday of May as a day for “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day.

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