Anna Marie Jarvis (May 1, 1864, Webster, West Virginia — November 24, 1948, West Chester, Pennsylvania) is recognized as the founder of the Mother’s Day holiday in the United States of America
Anna Jarvis was born in the tiny town of Webster in Taylor County, West Virginia. She was the daughter of Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. The family moved to nearby Grafton, West Virginia in her childhood.
On May 12, 1907, two years after her mother’s death, she held a private memorial to her mother and thereafter embarked upon a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday. She succeeded in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday in May a nationally recognized occasion celebrating Mother’s. The International Mother’s Day Shrine was established in Grafton to commemorate her accomplishment.
Anna Jarvis incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association and claimed copyright on the second Sunday of May. Ms Jarvis had very strong opinions regarding how Mother’s Day should be celebrated and this included appropriate gifts, handwritten notes, candies and flowers – of which she chose the white carnation as the official flower of Mother’s Day.