The history of Mother's Day - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

The history of Mother's Day

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - Americans celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May by giving mom gifts ranging from chocolates to candy, flowers and jewelry, often accompanied by a card.  

But the so-called 'Hallmark holiday' -for its emphasis on 'buying' things- was not created for this purpose. 

"It did not start with the cash register, I promise you," said Libby O'Connell, chief historian for the History channel.

"Greeks and Romans they celebrated mothers and their maternal goddesses. The early Christian church had mothering Sunday. In America, it begins 100 years ago. It was first 'officialized' by Anna Jarvis. Her mother had been a role model to her in West Virginia. She tried to unite Confederate veterans and Union veterans. She had classes for how to be a better mother. Jarvis decided she wanted to celebrate her mother and she campaigned to create an official Mother’s Day," said Libby.

As time passed, the holiday went on to become a very successful financial venture.

"Mother's Day is almost a $20 billion business in America. There is big jewelry spending going on and flowers," said O'Connell.

As Mother's Day was capitalized upon, the mother of Mother's Day spoke out.

"She wanted it to be about going to places of worship and giving thanks for mothers or giving mothers maybe a handmade card," said O'Connell.

Known as the International Mother's Day Shrine, a former church in Grafton, West Virginia honors Jarvis and all mothers.









  • Today on Good DayToday on Good DayMore>>

  • Estelle returns with 'uplifting' album

    Estelle returns with 'uplifting' album

    Tuesday, September 9 2014 12:49 PM EDT2014-09-09 16:49:24 GMT
    Grammy award winner Estelle is back on the scene after being immersed in her soon-to-drop new album. “True Romance' is where I've been for the past year,” said Estelle. The London native's fourth studio album is being described by music critics as ‘inspirational' and ‘uplifting.' It's due in stores on Nov. 4.
    Grammy award winner Estelle is back on the scene after being immersed in her soon-to-drop new album. “True Romance' is where I've been for the past year,” said Estelle. The London native's fourth studio album is being described by music critics as ‘inspirational' and ‘uplifting.' It's due in stores on Nov. 4.
  • Richard Lewis' 30 years of neurotic humor

    Richard Lewis' 30 years of neurotic humor

    Tuesday, September 9 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-09-09 16:02:06 GMT
    Comedian Richard Lewis and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' creator Larry David go way back.  "We went to camp (as kids), hated him, never saw him again. I started at the Improv, no longer here, and he was a fan. I was drinking back then and I said 'I hate you.' We had a fistfight at a bar and we bonded. We love each other and yet we annoy each other," said Lewis. The pair was quite the comedic duo on the hit HBO show.
    Comedian Richard Lewis and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' creator Larry David go way back.  "We went to camp (as kids), hated him, never saw him again. I started at the Improv, no longer here, and he was a fan. I was drinking back then and I said 'I hate you.' We had a fistfight at a bar and we bonded. We love each other and yet we annoy each other," said Lewis. The pair was quite the comedic duo on the hit HBO show.

  • Nicky Hilton's '365 Style' method

    Nicky Hilton's '365 Style' method

    Monday, September 8 2014 1:35 PM EDT2014-09-08 17:35:05 GMT
    Fashion designer Nicky Hilton has been immersed in the industry since childhood when she began creating jewelry and accessories.  The New Yorker and recently engaged socialite is sharing her strategy to building a wardrobe in the new book, '365 Style.' Hilton follows the 365 method which she invented.

    Fashion designer Nicky Hilton has been immersed in the industry since childhood when she began creating jewelry and accessories.  The New Yorker and recently engaged socialite is sharing her strategy to building a wardrobe in the new book, '365 Style.' Hilton follows the 365 method which she invented.

Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices