Mother’s Day: How It All Began
(CNN) — Here’s a look at what you need to know about Mother’s Day, which is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May.
In 2014, the holiday will be celebrated on May 11th.
- There were an estimated 85.4 million mothers in the U.S. in 2009.
- Initially, people observed Mother’s Day by attending church and writing letters to their mothers. Eventually, sending cards and giving presents and flowers became part of the tradition.
- 141 million Mother’s Day cards are exchanged annually in the United States.
- Consumers purchase an average of 2.8 Mother’s Day cards.
- Approximately 65% of card sales occur five days prior to Mother’s Day.
- More people purchase fresh flowers and plants for Mother’s Day than for any other holiday except Christmas/Hanukkah. Mother’s Day accounts for one-fourth of all holiday sales of flowers and plants.
- In 2013, the National Retail Federation estimated that U.S. consumers would spend more than $20 billion celebrating Mother’s Day.
- According to the Insure.com 2013 Mother’s Day Index, various tasks Moms perform at home would be worth $59,862 (down from $60,182 in 2012) a year in the professional world.
- Anna Jarvis started the tradition of wearing a carnation on Mother’s Day. A colored carnation means that a person’s mother is living. A white carnation indicates that a person’s mother is dead.
- 1872 – Julia Ward Howe, who is a pacifist, suffragette, and writer of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” first suggests Mother’s Day in the United States. She suggests the day as a day mothers could rally for peace and for several years, she holds an annual Mother’s Day meeting in Boston.
- 1908 – Anna Jarvis begins a campaign for a nationwide observance of Mother’s Day in honor of her late mother, a community health advocate. Anna Jarvis was deeply dismayed over the commercialization of Mother’s Day. Before she died in 1948, she admitted that she regretted ever starting the holiday.
- May 9, 1914 – President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday.