While thanking the important women in your life Sunday, there’s one more person to add to your list. Luckily, she’s local.

Anna Jarvis, a Philadelphia transplant, is often credited with creating Mother’s Day, a national celebration meant to recognize all the hard work that mothers do. The first Mother’s Day was observed in 1908, and it was given federal recognition in 1914.

“The purpose of Mother’s Day,” Jarvis told The Inquirer in May 1913, “is to make men and women realize their individual responsibility to right the wrongs of motherhood and childhood, not only in the home but also in the industrial world, and in the name of ‘mother’ to inspire men to carry forward the work for the home, which would mean not only its uplift, but would deepen their brotherhood toward each other.”

Brainstorming what kind of gift Jarvis might have liked? Don’t bother. Jarvis, a West Virginia native who later moved to Philadelphia, “fought bitterly against commercialism of the day,” according to her 1948 obituary.

Read on to impress your mom with some Mother’s Day trivia during your Sunday get-together.

How did the celebration start?

Jarvis rallied around the day in memory of her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, who organized mothers clubs and led a Mothers’ Friendship Day before she died on May 9, 1905, according to Inquirer archives.

The two shared a close relationship — a friend said that they cared for each other “with a love which was more than love,” according to a 1987 Inquirer story. Carnations became a symbol for the day because it was her mother’s favorite flower.

The first Mother’s Day happened on May 10, 1908, with events in West Virginia and the Wanamaker department store on Market Street, according to archives. Jarvis later launched a letter-writing campaign to spread the recognition.

Is Mother’s Day on the same day every year?

No. Mother’s Day was federally established as the second Sunday in May in 1914, according to the Library of Congress.

Why did Jarvis grow to resent how it was celebrated?

Jarvis was against the day’s commercialization, from florists and candy-makers to card manufacturers.

Candy shops and greeting-card companies reaped bonanza profits by commercializing the holiday. Things had gotten out of hand. The price of carnations skyrocketed to a dollar a blossom. In Philadelphia, four men were arrested for breaking into a greenhouse and stealing 2,000 carnations.
The mother of Mother’s Day attacked the florists. Her press release read: 'WHAT WILL YOU DO to rout charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and other termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations?"

Is Mother’s Day celebrated in other parts of the world?

Many other countries have their own way of celebrating mothers and women, but not all on the same day. In the United Kingdom, the fourth Sunday of Lent is known as “Mothering Sunday,” while “fête des mères” in France happens on the fourth Sunday in May, according to Time.

How is the founder of Mother’s Day recognized in Philly?

Jarvis’ contributions are noted in a historical marker at Market and Juniper Streets, dedicated in 1998.

A historical marker for Anna Jarvis, who is credited as the founder of Mother's Day.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
A historical marker for Anna Jarvis, who is credited as the founder of Mother's Day.

Jarvis, who died at Marshall Square Sanitarium in West Chester after she became ill and went blind, according to her obituary, is buried at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd.

#DidYouKnow Anna Jarvis, the woman who founded Mother's Day, is buried at West Laurel Hill. Happy Mother's Day to all the strong women out there that are making a difference!

Posted by West Laurel Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home on Sunday, May 13, 2018

How can I celebrate mom in Philly this year?

If you’re following the Anna Jarvis model, saying thanks is enough. Alternatively, there are a handful of events to enjoy together throughout the day. Staff writer Grace Dickinson’s roundup suggests skipping brunch in favor of a riverboat ride to Bartram’s Garden or a yoga class complete with baby goats.