Two years after her Mothers death, in 1907, on the second Sunday in May, Anna invited several friends to her home in Philadelphia, in commemoration of her mother’s life. On this occasion, she announced her idea – a day of national celebration in honor of mother – a Mother’s Day.
The first Mother’s Day Memorial happened on May 10, 1908 and was celebrated in the Church were her Mother Ann Jarvis had worked as a Sunday School teacher. Anna established the white carnation as the symbol of the celebration and developed other text and visual tools in honor of the event.
From this first memorial Sunday, the custom caught on and spread across many of the American states. The holiday was first officially declared by certain states in 1912 and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother’s Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.
Mother’s Day continues to this day – albeit with a slightly different theme than President Wilson had indicated – and today is one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.