Mother’s Day 100 Years Ago

Mother’s Day to be Observed in Many Towns and Cities of Country.

Public Exercises to be Held in Churches and Sunday Schools on the Second Sunday in May – Loyalty and Devotion of the Mother to be Given Fitting Public Recognition – Observance of Mother’s Day Originated by Miss Jarvis.

By Anna bland.

Washington. – The second Sunday in May will be observed as mother’s day in most cities and many towns throughout the United States, and, in honor of American mothers, both living and dead, public exercises will be held in churches and Sunday schools.

Since the days when word symbols were first invented there have been written beautiful tributes to the sacred love of the mother, and this tenderest of all earthly ties has been extolled in exquisite verse and prose by world famous poets as well as the humblest bards of every land and every clime. Many of the sarcophaguses of ancient Egypt, which scientists have recently unearthed, contained tablets, or other records, which were inscribed with praises for the motherly virtues of the women of the royal houses of those olden days; and these tombs were built long before the time of Christ. But not until recently, however, was the loyalty and devotion of the mother given public recognition by a special observance held in her honor.

Mother’s flower- do you know what it is? The spicy, snow-white carnation. It was chosen by the originator of mother’s day as the emblem of mother love.

Originated by Miss Jarvis.

“But my own mother’s flower,” some may say, “was the pink” or “the lilac” or “the rose.” That may be true, for mothers have a way of loving best these dear, old fashioned blossoms; but Miss Jarvis, who originated the observance of mother’s day, no doubt had in mind that these differences of taste when she chose as an emblem for the occasion the white carnation for, surely, this beautiful, fragrant flower combines every lovely quality of all the flowers ever loved by mothers the wide world over! It symbolizes purity, sweetness and endurance – and are not these the qualities of a mother’s love?

Miss Anna Jarvis, the first thought of inaugurating a special observance to honor the mothers of the land, is a Philadelphia woman, one who has long been identified with philanthropic movements of her home state. It was while honoring the memory of her own beloved parent from whom she had long been parted by death, that she conceived the idea of setting aside one day every year for the purpose of paying tribute to the mothers of America.

There is an old custom observed in England, on the 17th of March, whose purpose is to honor the mothers of the land, which is called “mothering” Sunday. On this day some special act of love or kindness is performed. In olden times the day was made a glad home-coming occasion, and gifts were carried to the mothers, and heart-to-heart talks indulged in around the blazing log fires by parents, sons and daughters. Mothering Sunday may or may not have been Miss Jarvis’ inspiration when inaugurating our own mother’s day; the customs, however, embody the same beautiful sentiments. As soon as Miss Jarvis made known her plan she received letters from interested people from all parts of the country, inquiring for particulars. It was only a short time before mother’s day was being observed, in some form, in nearly every state in the union.

Association Takes up Work.

In the beginning all the expense of the movement was borne by the originator, but soon the work became too heavy to be carried on or financed by an individual. The Mother’s Day International Association was formed with Miss Jarvis as president, the object being to promote the observance and forward the work of mother’s day in every land.

A resolution passed the United States house of representatives and senate in May, 1913, commending the observance by the president, his cabinet and other heads of government departments. The honorary vice presidents of the association are the governors of the states.

The legislatures of a number of states have passed bills for the observance of the day.

It seems a pity that mother’s day does not occur during old home week or home-coming week, as it is called in some localities where an annual pilgrimage is made to the old home by the wanderers from the home fold. One naturally thinks of the silver-haired mother as being the center of these glad gathering of the clans. It is mother who first greets the lost sheep and welcomes him home with tears of joy; and it is her brave smile and words or cheer that speed him on his way when good-byes must be said. One day set aside in special reverence of mother, in the season of home-coming, would seem particularly appropriate, whether she is still in the old home, or is quietly sleeping where the goldenrod nods in the little burying ground on the hill.

History teems with inspiring incidents illustrating the wonderful sacrifice of mother love. The records of the Mayflower show that of the eighteen wives and mothers confined in the ship’s cabin, fourteen died within a few months after the landing at Plymouth. Surely it was by no mere chance of fortune that not a single daughter and only three sons of those first voyagers were taken! We may know for a certainty that it was the self sacrifice of these loyal mothers that spared the lives of the children and husbands.

Mother Sticks to the End.

A warden of a large penitentiary was recently heard to say that in cases of “life-termers,” or those serving long sentences, he found, that, although the wife would often cease her visits after a time, the mother, in fair weather or foul, was never known to desert the prisoner and visited faithfully until the end.

The most vicious criminal melts in the arms of the mother who bore him. She has never been known to forsake the grim, hardened man in prison garb, for, no matter how crimson his sins, how steeped in crime his soul may be, to her, he is still a little boy to be petted and loved and cherished as in the days when his golden head nestled upon her bosom.

“When the world shall despise and forsake you; when it leaves you by the roadside to die, unnoticed, the dear old mother will gather you in her feeble arms and carry you home and tell you of all your virtues until you almost forget that your soul is disfigured by vices” – can we do too much for one whose love is so boundless, so beautiful and trusting as this? If mother’s day finds our loved ones no longer with us, we can find no more fitting tribute to a blessed memory than in the performance of some thoughtful act in behalf of the mother of someone else.

The Tensas Gazette, St. Joseph, Louisiana, 26 May 1916.

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