What does Mother’s Day have to do with the Civil War?

Lots More Information

Author's Note: What does Mother's Day have to do with the Civil War?

I had no idea. Yes, I'd heard of Ann Reeves Jarvis, her daughter and Julia Ward Howe. But Mother's Day as a radical movement meant to disseminate peace? For me, that was a first -- and one that changed my perspective. I've always thought of Mother's Day as a perfunctory holiday. First, as an excuse to honor my mom (very deserving, by the way), then as a holiday for myself that is more often spent at graduations or ball tournaments than something specifically meant for me. Knowing its roots, I'm ready to rethink my celebration.

Related Articles


  • Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum. "About Us." (March 2, 2014) http://www.annajarvismuseum.com/#!about-us
  • Handwerk, Brian. "Mother's Day Dark History." National Geographic. May 11, 2012. (March 2, 2014) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/05/110511-mothers-day-dark-history-jarvis-nation-gifts-facts/
  • Kohls, Gary. "The Anti-War Message of Mother's Day." May 8, 2011. (March 2, 2014) http://www.consortiumnews.com/2011/050811a.html
  • International Mother's Day Shrine. "The Founding of Mother's Day." (March 2, 2014) http://www.mothersdayshrine.com/the-founding-of-mothers-day/
  • National Retail Federation. "Consumers Look to Pamper Mom with iPads, Jewelry This Mother's Day. April 30, 2013. (March 2, 2014) http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=1567
  • Pruitt, Sarah. "Why the Founder of Mother's Day Turned Against It." History. May 10, 2013. (March 5, 2014) http://www.history.com/news/why-the-founder-of-mothers-day-turned-against-it
  • Rosen, Ruth. "Soap to Ploughshares." Slate. May 8, 2009. (March 2, 2014) http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/xxfactor_xxtra/2009/05/soap_to_ploughshares.html
  • The Library of Congress. "Mother's Day Observance." (March 2, 2014) http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/legacies/WV/200003661.html
  • The National Women's History Project. "History of Mother's Day." (March 2, 2014) http://nwhp.org/news/history_of_mothersday.php
  • Tyler-McGraw, Marie. "Mother's Day Revisited." 1977. (March 2, 2014) http://www.wvculture.org/goldenseal/mothersday.html
  • West Virginia Division of Culture and History. "Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis." (March 2, 2014) http://www.wvculture.org/history/jarvis.html

More to Explore