100 Years Ago: A World War I Mother’s Day

Lansing State Journal
newspaper of 1917 showing
mothers, carnations and the
founderĀ  of Mother’s Day.

One hundred years ago Mother’s Day was celebrated on May 12, 1918 in New Hampshire. Two days before the Portsmouth Herald newspaper announced: “Sunday is Mother’s Day. Carnations Will Be Worn in Honor or Memory of Her That Day.” The story goes on to say that the tradition is to wear a carnation–a colored one if your mother was living and a white one if she “has passed from this life.”

Preachers had warmed up their presentation skills to offer special recognition to mothers from the pulpit. The article also adds that “The observance of the day calls for loving remembrance of your mother for her memory through some distinct act of kindness, visit, tribute or letter. Love on that day as your mother would have you live it.” Sage words for a world where death was so often the topic of late. The Court Street Christian Church of Portsmouth planned to visit “shut-ins” of the parish after the evening service. Continue reading