Mother’s Day Was Not Originally a Hallmark Moment
May 9, 2010

Nothing Says "Mom" Better than Whistler's Mother. What Was the Post Office Thinking?

HappyMothersDay-main_FullOn This Date in History: I had always assumed that Mother’s Day was invented by some card company like Hallmark.  I was wrong.  It was just hijacked by the entreprenuerial spirit of America!   There’s all sorts of stuff about it going back to the early church and then going on through the 17th century in Europe when it was still associated with the church. It had been to celebrate Mother Mary, then the Mother Church with Mothering Sunday.   But when the folks came across the pond to America, the colonists were too busy working to do such things and it died out.

Mother of Mother's Day

Mother of Mother's Day

Then along came the Civil War and a woman named Anne Marie Reeves Jarvis.  She started “Mother’s Friendship Day” as a way to improve sanitation in 1858. During the Civil War she continued the practice by organizing women on both sides to try and improve the nasty situation. Afterward, she organized Mother’s Friendship Clubs to teach women the basics of nursing and sanitation. She also took the opportunity to bring reconciliation to the nation following the war.  Anne died in 1905 and her daughter Anna missed her greatly. Anna felt that children didn’t appreciate their mother’s enough while they were alive. So, in 1907, she decided to start a day to honor mothers.  She began a letter writing campaign to ministers and such and in 1908, the first Mother’s Day service was held in honor of Anne Marie Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, where she went to church for 20 years and also at her church in Philadelphia, the city where Anne died.

Wilson With Wife and Daughters Mother's Day 1912

It caught on and in 1912 The International Mother’s Day Association had come into being and on this date in 1914, a Presidential Proclamation by Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.   But Anna Jarvis’ happiness didn’t last long.  In just a few short years, people started giving cards and flowers and presents and all sorts of things.  It became more secular than what Miss Jarivs had envisioned. Commericialization had taken over and it continues today as Mother’s Day is one of the most financially successful days on the calendar. Anna Jarvis died as a cranky old woman who fought to oppose Mother’s Day. I guess she created a monster like Frankenstein.   But not as much as the Postal Service.

President Roosevelt's Original Mother's Day Stamp Design

Yes indeed…in 1934 the US Postal Service decided to get into the act and make a stamp to commemorate Mother’s Day. And what did they pick to commemorate the day to honor the wholesome beauty of Motherhood? The portrait of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s mother! You look at it and try to figure out what they were thinking. It sure wasn’t “Happy Mother’s Day.” As it turns out, the inspiration came from none other than President Franklin
D. Roosevelt.  FDR had been presented the idea by Mrs. H. H. McCluer of Kansas City who was the past president of a group called the American War Mothers.  President Roosevelt had been devoted to his own mother so he heartily accepted the proposal and sent a sketch of the stamp that he envisioned to Postmaster General James A. Farley.  Farley made a few modifications and the stamp was issued on May 2, 1934.

Original Mother's Day Stamp 1934

As for Hallmark, it is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.  Joyce C. Hall was given the name “Joyce” because he had the misfortune of being born in David, Nebraska on the day that a Methodist bishop named Isaac W. Joyce was in town and his parents must have been inspired.  As a teenager, J.C. Hall went into business with his two older brothers selling picture postcards.   In 1910 at the age of 18, he dropped out of school and went to Kansas City and started selling postcards to drugstores, gift shops and bookstores before opening a specialty shop. 

Editorial Cartoon Made Fun of FDR's Stamp. Bet that Newspaper Received a lot of hatemail using the special stamp

 But, in a case of misfortune turning to a catalyst for success, a fire swept through the store.  The brothers then got a loan and decided to purchase an engraving firm that they had done business with in the past.  While Mother’s Day was just getting started around that time and no doubt did Hallmark participate in the commercialization of the “Holy Day” invented by Anna Jarvis, the company was not built on the hallowed day’s back.  Instead, the Hallmark company history says that the Hall brothers originally gained success with Christmas and Valentine’s cards.  But, let’s think about this for a moment. All about the same time:  Anna Jarvis comes up with Mother’s Day; President Wilson recognizes it nationally; a fire destroys the Hall brother’s store and they start making specialty cards; Mother’s Day becomes so commercialized that Anna Jarvis works to oppose the very thing she created.    I think that perhaps Miss Jarvis did not buy any Hallmark cards.

Weather Bottom Line:  Winds on Friday gusted to 41 mph at the Louisville International Airport and Saturday was a blustery day as well.  Difference was that the wind was out of the West all day Saturday as opposed to the South-Southwest on Friday. In between there was a front and it worked out pretty much as I had expected.  There were a few lingering thunderstorms that dropped about a quarter to a third of an inch of rain but many many people were in between those spots and got just a few hundreths of an inch.  We should de-couple overnight and the winds will die down.  Should that come about, we’ll see several locations with a Mother’s Day morning start in the upper 30’s.   Look for a high in the low to perhaps mid 60’s.  Warm up begins after that.  There will be several pieces of energy breaking off of a storm system out West that will bring several opportunities for t’storms after the first of next week. It’s possible that some of those opportunities may present some strong storms but it’s too far out to really tell right now.  The biggest stuff will most likely be in the plains.  But, we’ll see.

Origin of Mother’s Day and the Free Love Movement
May 10, 2009

Victoria Woodhull's Legacy?

Get Naked For Mom's Day?

What Was the Post Office Thinking?

HappyMothersDay-main_FullMother’s Day: I had always assumed that Mother’s Day was invented by some card company like Hallmark.  I was wrong. It was just hijacked by the entreprenuerial spirit of America!  There’s all sorts of stuff about it going back to the early church and then going on through the 17th century in Europe, still associated with the church.  It had been to celebrate Mother Mary, then the Mother Church with Mothering Sunday. But when the folks came across the pond to America, the colonists were too busy working to do such things and it died out. 

Mother of Mother's Day

Mother of Mother's Day

Then along comes the Civil War and a woman named Anne Marie Reeves Jarvis.  She started “Mother’s Friendship Day” as a way to improve sanitation in 1858.  During the Civil War she continued the practice by organizing women on both sides to try and improve the nasty situation. Afterword, she organized Mother’s Friendship Clubs to teach women the basics of nursing and sanitation. She also took the opportunity to bring reconciliation to the nation following the war.  Anne died in 1905 and her daughter Anna missed her greatly.  Anna felt that children didn’t appreciate their mother’s enough while they were alive. in 1907, she decided to start a day to honor mothers. She began a letter writing campaign to ministers and such an in 1908, the first Mother’s Day service was held in honor of Anne Marie Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, where she went to church for 20 years and her church in Philadelphia, the city where she died.

It caught on and in 1912 The International Mother’s Day Association had come into being and by 1914, a Presidential Proclamation by Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.  But Anna Jarvis’ happiness didn’t last long.  It was in just a few short years that people started giving cards and flowers and presents and all sorts of things.

Wilson With Wife and Daughters Mother's Day 1912

Wilson With Wife and Daughters Mother's Day 1912

It became more secular than what Miss Jarivs had envisioned.  Commericialization had taken over and it continues today as Mother’s Day is one of the most financially successful days on the calendar.  Anna Jarvis died as a cranky old woman who fought to oppose Mother’s Day.  I guess she created a monster like Frankenstein.  But not as much as the Postal Service. 

Yes indeed…in 1934 they decided to get into the act and make a stamp to commemorate Mother’s Day.  And what did they pick to commemorate the day to honor the wholesome beauty of Motherhood?  The portrait of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s mother!  You look at it and try to figure out what they were thinking. It sure wasn’t “Happy Mother’s Day.”

On This Date In History:  This obviously wasn’t Mother’s Day because it was before the day was established.  But, this woman was seen by many as the antithesis of motherhood. On this date in 1872 Victoria Woodhull began her campaign for President.  At that time, women weren’t even allowed to vote.  Her platform was as a “free-thinking reformer” and supported free love, abortion, divorce, legalized prostitution and, of course, the women’s right to vote. One of the photos above is a portrait while the other is a cartoon showing her as the Devil.   As part of her campaign, she sent out an article congratulating preacher Henry Ward Beecher for having an affair with a married woman in his congregation.  But, she chastised him for not advocating the free love that she said he obviously practiced.  On election day, she was in jail.  The charge was for sending obscene material through the mail.   The offensive material was the Beecher article.  Reports of her personal practices of free love did not help her at the polls.  An opponent of hers didn’t learn from her mistake.

Woodhull Covorting With Satan!

Also on the ballot was George Francis Train.  He was a millionaire with nothing else to do except to try and break speed records and advocate what he saw as struggles for freedom.  Jules Verne is said to have based his novel Around the World In 80 Days on a trip that Train once took.  But, Train didn’t count the days he spent in prison in France against his 80 days.  He got involved in an attempted revolution and barely escaped a firing squad before he continued his global journey.  He later beat his own record by going around the world in 67 1/2 days.  No word on if he cheated on that one too.  Neither he nor Woodhull were elected President. In fact, I bet you won’t find them on any 1872 election tally boards. 

But, Train had a penchant for making money because his campaign proved to be a money making venture for him.  He charged money for people to hear his speeches and he spoke over 1000 times to more than 2,000,000 people.  In an attempt to show support for Woodhull, he published a collection of biblical quotations that he said were much more obscene than anything Woodhull had written.  They slapped the old bracelets on him too and he was whisked off to jail.

Victoria Woodhull's Legacy?

Victoria Woodhull's Legacy?

Here’s a funny thing about this story.  If you look at the platform of Ms. Woodhull that was so scandalous in 1872, you will find almost every single one of them are accepted today.  If you live in Nevada, they are all legal and part of the landscape.  And to carry that point further, if you look at the Socialist Party platform of the early twentieth century that helped to feed a “red scare” following the Russian Revolution of 1917, you will be amazed at how many of the items in the platform were eventually adopted by Congress.  I bet that if  you told someone in 1900 the things would be legal and acceptable in 2000, they’d probably fall over.   Then again, they’d probably also collapse if you told them that man had walked on the moon, cured any number of diseases and that baseball players were making millions of dollars a year.

By the way….US Grant won re-election in the 1872 presidential race.

SPC Wednesday Severe Weather Outlook

SPC Wednesday Severe Weather Outlook

Weather Bottom Line:  Last year, Mother’s Day was chilly and windy.  This Mother’s Day is outstanding.  I saw a knucklehead on TV claim we’d have cloudy skies by the afternoon but there will be just some high whispy  mare’s tails floating about.  I hope you got a chance to visit your mom and enjoy her special day. 

Now, tonight a little boundary will drop down and give us the clouds that the knucklehead was speaking of but from the different direction from where it was said to be coming from.  This is not from the south but from the north and while there may be a few showers, my guess us that it’s too dry to produce much to talk about so I shant do so any longer.  High pressure builds in for Monday and Tuesday.  Tonight and Monday night will be pretty cool with seasonally mild afternoons.  The GFS is showing a small short wave moving through the flow that will produce some clouds and maybe some showers but I shouldn’t think it would be too active if it indeed materializes as shown by the GFS.  Now, on Wednesday there will probably be an outbreak of strong storms in the north-central plains but the main support for those storms should track well to our north in the Great Lakes region.  For that reason, when the front comes through on Thursday, its likely at this time that we will see some rain and t’storms but the severe threat should be limited, though I suppose with afternoon heating and higher moisture, we may have a few warnings.  But, that’s several days away so enjoy your Mother’s Day and don’t worry about it.

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions

Severe Risk Declining As Expected; SPC Comes Around
May 11, 2008

If you notice, the SPC Saturday night has come around and stopped the CYA stuff and shrunk the slight risk area almost out of the viewing area completely.  Big storms that produced numerous tornadoes in Missouri and Oklahoma that killed at least 5 people are fading rapidly as they move into the atmosphere that is not conducive for support.  This is in line with what I’ve been suspecting would happen.  Now, we’re still going to get rain and some thundestorms. The winds may get gusty with the frontal passage around sunrise as that actually may be our best bet for thunderstorms. It isn’t until then that we get some potential energy in here.  The rest of Mother’s Day looks to be cloudy and windy with showers and temperatures falling to the 50’s by afternoon.  Mom Deserves Better!

Same thing as before…the SPC day one outlook. It will change as they update it but this link does take you directly to the SPC home page.

SPC Day One Outlook