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self portrait - circa 1996

 

History of Mother’s Day
...and a lovely remembrance

Dear Friends:

my Mom (from 2004)Mother’s Day started in Rome and became a United States national holiday less than 100 years ago.

You may think it all started by Hallmark® in an effort to sell cards, but that is not the case at all. Mother's Day dates back to the ancient Romans, and made its way to the United States in the early 1900's, finally becomming a national holiday in 1914.

The earliest tributes to Mother's Day date back to the annual spring festival Greeks dedicated to Rhea, the mother of many deities, and to the offerings ancient Romans made to their Great Mother of Gods, Cybele. Christians celebrated a Mother's Day of sorts during a festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of Mary, mother of Christ. In England, the holiday was expanded to include all mothers; it was then called Mothering Sunday.

On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. That was the first official Mother's Day and the tradition carries on to this day. In fact, Mother's Day has flourished in the United States; the second Sunday in May has become the most popular day of the year to dine out, and telephone lines record their highest traffic, as sons and daughters everywhere take advantage of this day to honor and to express appreciation of their mothers.

(Yep, that's my Mom to the right - a favorite photo captured earlier this year.)

Louise Dawson

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posted 05/01/04 illustrations (revised 1/30/11), text & fun © J.J. Cardinal's 1992-2011
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