Mother's Day

Mothers Day

Release date:

2002

Running time:

46 minutes

Formats:

Available on DVD

Closed Captioned:

Yes

Availability in North America:

Available in CanadaAvailable in the US

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  • Audience level:
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Adult
  • General

Many people mistakenly believe that Mother's Day is a commercial invention-a marketing ploy to sell millions of cards and bouquets. In fact, the history of the holiday reveals an inspiring but tragic mother and daughter story. It also traces the roots of women's social activism in North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The mother, Anne Marie Reeves Jarvis, was a Virginia housewife who spearheaded Mothers' Work Day Clubs, bringing women together to improve sanitation and curb the region's high mortality rate for children. Later, during the worst battles of the American Civil War, her clubs nursed soldiers on both sides of the field.

Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, was a savvy lobbyist and indefatigable letter writer. When her mother died, she launched a single-minded crusade to commemorate her mother's life by creating a day to honour all mothers. The campaign was wildly successful, but in the end, Jarvis lost the battle to keep the holiday commerce-free.

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