On this day in 1908, Mother's Day is observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia.
Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis was a pacifist and social activist during the Civil War. She appealed to mothers on both sides of the conflict to care for the injured soldiers without discrimination. After the war, she championed the cause of worker health and safety as the industrializtion of America was in full swing.
When she died in 1905 her daughter, Anna Marie Jarvis, sought to have a day established to honor mothers in America and the contributions they have made. In 1907, Anna distributed white carnations for each mother at her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia. In 1908 she held a memorial to her mother in Grafton, West Virginia on May 10, marking the first celebration of the day in the US. She would then campaign to make Mother's Day a national holiday and in 1914 the Mother's Day holiday became official in the US.