What you don't know about Mother's Day

By CNN Library

Published May 7, 2020


Mother's Day is observed on the second Sunday in May in the US. Here are a few things about the day that may surprise you.


How it got started

In 1908, a woman named Anna Jarvis began a campaign for a nationwide observance of Mother's Day in honor of her late mother. The holiday became commercialized and she admitted she regretted ever starting it.

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President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill in 1914 recognizing Mother's Day as a national holiday.

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A day to pamper mom

When the holiday first caught on, people celebrated by attending church and writing appreciative letters to their mothers. Later, sending cards and giving presents and flowers were incorporated into the tradition.


More people purchase fresh flowers and plants for Mother's Day than for any other holiday except Christmas/Hanukkah.


This year, US consumers will spend an estimated $26.7 billion celebrating Mother's Day, the National Retail Federation said. Shoppers will spend an average of $204.74 on Mom.