Celebrating Mothers ~ History, images and documents from the Library of Congress
President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation on May 9, 1914, asking Americans to give a public expression of reverence to mothers through the celebration of Mother’s Day. Carnations have come to represent the day as they were distributed at one of the first commemorations honoring the mother of the founder of Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis, a Grafton, West Virginia native, is credited with conceiving and launching the campaign that resulted in the creation of a national day honoring mothers in the United States. Legislative actions and annual Congressional proclamations documented in the Congressional Record praise her tireless efforts to create a lasting commemoration to her mother, Anna Reeves Jarvis, as well as to all mothers, living and deceased. Other women appealed to the organized force of mothers for various causes. Woman suffrage was another important cause of the time. Mothers such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Elizabeth Smith Miller were pivotal in organizing women to rally for their right to vote.