Although mothers are certainly the one tie that commonly binds all people throughout human history, it has been celebrated as an official occasion only in this past century.
The struggle toward what we now call “Mother’s Day” began in 1868, with the work of Ann Jarvis to establish a “Mother’s Friendship Day”. Jarvis wanted to encourage mothers to fulfill their unique role which could reconcile the division of so many families as another painful result of the Civil War. Jarvis wanted to expand the concept into an annual celebration for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the day became popular.
Ann Jarvis’ daughter, Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis is credited with establishing Mother’s Day in its current form, following the death of her mother on May 9, 1905. It is the date of Ann Jarvis’ death which was the motivation behind celebrating Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May.