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Topics in Chronicling America - Mother's Day

In 1908, Anna Jarvis holds a memorial service at a West Virginia church to honor her mother, Mrs. Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, who passed away three years prior. Philadelphia newspaper publishers latch onto the idea and widely promote a day for honoring mothers, to be held on the second Sunday of the month of May. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Picture of Anna Jarvis, the founder of mothers day

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • May 10, 1908: Miss Anna Jarvis invites friends to honor her mother, Mrs. Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis at a ceremony in St. Andrew's Methodist Church, Grafton, West Virginia.
  • 1910: West Virginia passes a law designating the holiday and other states follow suit.
  • May 8, 1914: U.S. Congress passes a law that states the second Sunday in May is to be celebrated as Mother's Day.
  • May 9, 1914: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issues a proclamation declaring 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.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Miss Anna (or Annie) Jarvis, Mothers' Day.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 11, 2016
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