Happy Mother’s Day! May the barely warm toast and the grinds-floating-in-it coffee be the most delicious breakfast in bed you’ve ever tasted.
Here’s why that special meal, prepared with love, is really what this holiday is all about:
Mother’s Day in the United States dates back to 1908, when Anna Jarvis, the daughter of West Virginia activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, organized family gatherings in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia and in Philadelphia, where she lived, and in several other cities, for children to honor their mothers.
Anna Jarvis was inspired by her own mother, an activist and pacifist who in the 1850s worked to improve sanitary conditions and lower infant mortality. During the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis started a Mother’s Friendship Day for Union and Confederate loyalists across West Virginia. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides. After the war, she organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events “as pacifist strategies to unite former foes,” according to National Geographic.
She spent the rest of her life battling the commercialization of the holiday. She organized boycotts, threatened lawsuits and staged protests. It was a battle she was destined to lose, despite spending her entire inheritance on the fight.
We need your help.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.