Monday, April 21, 2008

Mothers Acting Up

Did you know that Mothers Day was originally founded as an act of peaceful protest? From Wikipedia:

In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors. In parts of the United States it is customary to plant tomatoes outdoors after Mother's Day (and not before).

When Jarvis died in 1907, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on 10 May 1908, in the church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Grafton is the home to the International Mother's Day Shrine. From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared 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.

Nine years after the first official Mother's Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. Mother's Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.

So after you're done eating out somewhere, come meet other mamas in front of Mothersville and get your parade on!

Memphis Reclaiming Mother's Day Parade
Hosted by Memphis Mothers Acting Up (MAU)

Sunday May 11
3-6 PM in Cooper-Young
(Meet at Mothersville, parade to celebration at
Peabody Park)

Around the world, mothers and others are uniting into a gigantic, educated, noisy and powerful lobby to reclaim the original peaceful purpose of Mothers' Day and mobilize for the wellbeing of all children. Memphis Mothers Acting Up invites you to be part of this exuberant revolution. Active local mama leaders will be honored by Memphis MAU during the
celebration. Please join with us in celebrating exemplary mother leadership right here in our home city!!

Kids of all ages, mothers and others are welcome. Costumes, festive hats, stilts, strollers, skates, bikes and trikes

When mothers lead, generations follow!

For more info, visit

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