Mother's Day has been celebrated, in one form or another, as far back as the beginning of recorded history. In those days, it was a celebration of "Mother Gods," such as Isis in Egypt, and Rhea in Greece.
It wasn't until the 1800's that Mother's Day began to take on the form we're familiar with today. Julia Ward Howe, who wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic (even if you don't think you know it, trust me, you know it), disgusted by the Civil War's destruction of families, proposed the holiday as a celebration of peace and motherhood.
Unfortunately, Ward Howe's efforts fell flat, but a West Virginian Woman, Anna Reeves Jarvis, took up the cause to try and mend fences between Northern and Southern neighbors. The third woman to take up the banner, Jarvis's daughter, Anna M. Jarvis, stopped working so she could petition state and federal governments full-time for the holiday to be officially recognized. In 1914, President Wilson declared the second Sunday in May Mother's Day.
And now, for some fun Mother's Day Trivia:
--Mr. Rogers's own mother knitted most of the sweaters he wore on his popular children's show.
--The highest number of children born to one mother is 69, to a Russian woman whose name is unfortunately lost in history. Between 1725 and 1765, she gave birth to sixteen sets of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. Only two did not survive infancy, which, given the times, I think is pretty amazing.
--An armadillo can stall her pregnancy for up to three years using delayed implantation while she finds a suitable environment in which to give birth. Armadillos also reproduce via natural cloning, where one fertilized egg splits into four identical embryos.
--Both Jack Nicholson and Eric Clapton were born to young, unwed mothers, and both grew up believing their grandparents to be their parents and their mothers to be their sisters.
--And the most selfless Mother's Day gift-giver of all: Carole Horlock, of Hertfordshire, England. She's acted as surrogate mother to childless couples since 1995, giving birth to eight girls and four boys.
Happy Mother's Day, mommies!!!!
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