Learn about the origins of Mother's Day.
Mother's Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic") as a day dedicated to peace.
In 1907, Philadelphian Ana Jarvis began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day. She persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, W.V. to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the second Sunday of May.
After establishing Mother's Day in Philadelphia, Ana Jarvis and her supporters wrote to ministers, businessman, and politicians around the U.S. promoting the idea of a national Mother's Day. They were successful, and by 1911 Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother's Day a national holiday.
Some countries, including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Turkey, also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. But other countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year. In the U.K., "Mothering Sunday" is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Traditionally on Mothering Sunday, servants were encouraged to spend the day with their mothers, taking a special "mothering cake" as a tribute.