In this week’s episode of Problematic Women, my mom joined Kelsey and I to give us a history lesson of the origins of Mother’s Day.
Activist Ann Reeves Jarvis started an annual “Mother’s Friendship Day” to promote unity between families that fought for the Confederate and Union soldiers during the Civil War. Upon her death, her daughter Anna Jarvis continued her work. She promoted the holiday as a way to recognize the sacrifices mothers make for their children by having a special service in church on Sundays and handing out carnations.
The holiday morphed into a nationwide commercialized holiday after department store owners got in on it. The commercialized concept of the holiday appalled Anna, who protested against it until her death.
You can watch the interview with my mom, Cindy Payton, around the 24-minute mark.
Listen and subscribe to the podcast here.