In recognition of Congress and President Woodrow Wilson first proclaiming Mother’s Day in 1914, all mothers will be admitted free-of-charge to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum on Sunday, May 9, Mother’s Day.
The idea for Mother’s Day is credited to another person with Staunton ties--Anna Jarvis, a graduate of Augusta Female Seminary, now Mary Baldwin College. Miss Jarvis led a campaign for a day that would honor mothers everywhere. Several years of campaigning and thousands of letters to elected officials made her dream a reality.
On May 8, 1914, the United States Senate and House of Representatives passed a joint resolution establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The next day, May 9, President Wilson issued a proclamation, an excerpt of which is below:
Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.
Mary Baldwin College has developed a Mother’s Day card featuring Anna Jarvis that is on sale at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum President’s Shop and at Mary Baldwin. The card features a portrait of Miss Jarvis on the front with the words “Mother’s Day is in honor of the best Mother who ever lived—the Mother of your heart.” Inside the card is a paragraph detailing Miss Jarvis’ inspiration for the national and international holiday, with space for a personal message. The cards are $2.70 each, and proceeds will benefit Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war. The price of the card is one-tenth of what it costs to support a woman survivor of war and her family for one month.
Those interested in more information about Mother’s Day or visiting the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum should contact Barbara Wimble, Manager of Visitor Services at the Presidential Library, at (540) 885-0897, ext. 106, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.