Mother’s Day Began As A Failed Marketing Campaign



Each and every Mother’s Day, the people of this great world celebrate mom and mums publicly, and very commercially. Each nation may have its own unique date on the calendar, but the jovial lavishing of flowers and cards, candies and toddler-made Crayola masterpieces bear the same sentiment. Here in the US, we celebrate Mother’s Day on the 2nd Sunday of every May (May 13, 2013)*.


But did you know that Mother’s Day originated from a failed marketing campaign? Not for commercial purposes, to my relief. Early in the 20th century, a woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial and laid her own mother to rest at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.[1] This would later be known as the first Mother’s Day. The year was 1908 to be precise, the same year the Chicago Cubs won the world series, the FBI was founded, and Portugal’s King Carlos I was assassinated.[2] Full of emotion, Jarvis was inspired with the idea that all families should celebrate their mothers, and her campaign for Mother’s Day was born.


In 1912, Anna Jarvis began trademarking the phrases, “Second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day” respectively. She insisted that the spelling “be a singular possessive, for each family to honor their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.” The spelling stands to this day. But it was not until 1914 that her campaigning efforts were successful and Mother’s Day became an official American Holiday. The bill passed with a unanimous House vote, and was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.[3] But to her great disappointment, the American Holiday had been heavily commercialized by the 1920s. The commercialization stands to this day[4].


How do you honor your mother(s) each Mother’s Day? And for all the moms, how do you like to be honored?



How do you honor your mother(s) each Mother’s Day? And for all the moms, how do you like to be honored?


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