From the Ridge Historical Society
“All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” —Abraham Lincoln
For thousands of years, societies have honored motherhood. The ancient Greeks and Romans paid homage to the mother goddess Cybele. In Rome, she was known as Magna Mater, the Great Mother.
In the United States, modern Mother’s Day actually has its origins in the pacifist movement and concern for Veterans.
Mother’s Day was founded to honor peace activist Ann Jarvis, by her daughter Anna. Jarvis cared for wounded soldiers on both sides during the Civil War. She created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health needs. Her daughter wanted to continue the work her mother started and to honor mothers for all they do.
In 1908, the U.S. Congress rejected the proposal to officially establish Mother’s Day. The men joked they would have to create a “Mother-in-Law’s Day” also. But by 1911, all of the states had adopted the day, and in 1914, President Wilson proclaimed it a national holiday.
Anna Jarvis came to regret she ever came up with the idea when the holiday became excessively commercialized. Hallmark Cards began selling pre-made cards in the early 1920s, and this exploitation of the day for profit infuriated Jarvis. She wanted people to really think about their mothers, to honor their mothers with hand-written testimonials, not to resort to just buying gifts and pre-made cards. She wound up organizing boycotts of Mother’s Day, and was even arrested for disturbing the peace.
Now, the moral of this story is not to stop buying gifts for Mom! It is to sincerely and personally reflect upon her importance in your life, and to acknowledge this to her.
Today Mother's Day is one of the most recognized and celebrated days of the year. It not only honors the mothers of our families; it honors maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.
We're sharing some vintage postcards for Mother's Day. The symbol of the anchor is particularly interesting here, not something you often find on a card for a mother. But it is so appropriate - the anchor is a symbol of strength, stability, safety, security. These are certainly the traits associated with motherhood.
Happy Mother's Day!