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May 23, 2022
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Mother's Day Is May 8

We celebrate Mother's Day every year on the second Sunday of May. The tradition of honoring our mothers dates back to ancient Greece as early as 250 B.C., but it wasn't suggested in the United States until 1870 by Julia Ward Howe.

Howe issued her Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870 by writing the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," a call for women to join in support of disarmament. The holiday failed to catch on but Howe held organized Mother's Day meetings in Boston, Mass., every year thereafter.

In the 1880s and 1890s there were several further attempts to establish an American Mother's Day, but these did not succeed beyond the local level.

The holiday gained momentum in 1907 when Anna Jarvis began another crusade to implement Mother's Day. Jarvis lost her mother two years earlier and, believing that children tend to neglect their mothers until it is too late, began to campaign for a national observance of Mother's Day. She convinced her mother's church to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death -- the second Sunday of May.

Jarvis and her supporters began a letter-writing campaign to ministers, businessmen and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day. By 1911, Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state.

Mother's Day became an official holiday in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson made the announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the second Sunday of May.

Many who supported the holiday, including Jarvis, eventually ended up opposing the holiday and considered it a "Hallmark holiday" when it became highly commercialized.

In the United States, Mother's Day remains one of the biggest days for sales of flowers and greeting cards. According to Hallmark, a total of about 113 million greeting cards will be purchased for Mother's Day this year.