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Mother's Day

  • By: Katharine Lane Antolini
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Mother's Day is one of most widely celebrated American holidays, observed each year on the second Sunday in May. It is also observed around the world in over 40 countries, though sometimes on different dates. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, hosted the first official American Mother's Day service on the morning of May 10, 1908. The Wannamaker Auditorium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hosted a larger Mother's Day service, with 15,000 people in attendance, that same afternoon. Both events were organized by Anna Jarvis, who was inspired to establish a maternal memorial day in honor of her mother. By 1911, every state observed Mother's Day. However, it did not become a national holiday until 1914, when a Congressional resolution and Woodrow Wilson's presidential proclamation ...

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