Mother's Day celebration reaches 100th anniversary

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

GRAFTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Mother's Day turns 100 today.

And there are doubts about whether the woman credited with creating one of the world's most celebrated holidays would be pleased with how commercial it's become.

Anna Jarvis thought the appropriate gift would be a single, white carnation to signify the purity of a mother's love.

Jarvis never married and never had children herself but got the idea for a day to honor mothers from her mother. In 1908, three years after her mother died, Jarvis organized the first official Mother's Day service at a church in Grafton, West Virginia, where her mother had taught Sunday school.

That church has become a shrine to mothers around the world. And the congregation will be celebrating today's anniversary by giving each mother attending a special service a white carnation.

The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend 15 billion dollars honoring their mothers this year. The number-one expense: dining out.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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