I discovered Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for Control of Mother’s Day by Katharine Lane Antolini while researching the founding of Mother’s Day for a story I’m working on.
Backstory: I woke up one morning with a cryptic email I sent myself in the middle of the night – I tend to try to capture liminal ideas this way to little success outside of this instance and a handful of others – that read: “research the invention of Father’s Day.”
In cursory research of Father’s Day, I read somewhere (can’t find the original source now) that Sonora Dodd (the woman credited with founding Father’s Day in the US) was not opposed to working to promote the holiday with businesses and retailers. She saw this as a way to grow the holiday more quickly…. unlike the founder of Mother’s Day (Anna Jarvis), who was so disgusted with the commercialization of the holiday that she spent the rest of her life battling confectioners, florists, and even humanitarian and philanthropic organizations trying to exploit the holiday for anything other than the intended purpose of an individual celebrating their own mother for one day of the year.
Anna Jarvis sounded like a kindred spirit, so I dove into research and this book did not disappoint. More on her soon.
- read Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for Control of Mother’s Day by Katharine Lane Antolini