3 Historical Arguments Against Mother’s Day

The things we learn from Time!

TIME

Campaigning against Mother’s Day is a surefire way to sound like a grouch — but that didn’t stop Anna Jarvis.

That’s because if anyone could get away with it, she could. After all, Jarvis invented the whole thing, and then it ballooned far beyond what she had been imagining. As TIME wrote in 1938, it was May of 1907 when Jarvis persuaded a church in her hometown, Philadelphia, to hold a special church service on the anniversary of her mother’s death. The next year the governors of Florida and North Dakota issued special proclamations inspired by the service and it went national in 1914 when President Wilson made one, too. It wasn’t long before businesspeople across the country figured the day could be a great way to sell the nation on flowers, cards and other tokens. Jarvis, the article explained, was not amused:

Anna Jarvis is the 60-year-old Philadelphia spinster…

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