The Woman Credited as Being the Founder of Mother’s Day Later Spent Her Entire Family Fortune Campaigning Against the Holiday

Today I Found Out has teamed up with Jeremiah Warren to show his awesome “trivia” related videos here. You can subscribe to Warren’s YouTube Channel here.

If you like this video and the Bonus Mother’s Day Facts below, you might also enjoy:

Bonus Mother’s Day Facts:

  • The oldest known woman to become a mother was 73 year old, “Mrs. Steve Pace” (her husband was Steve and her first name unknown).  She gave birth to her 17th child in 1941, 23 years after her 16th was born.
  • The youngest known mother in history was just 4 years old when she got pregnant, and gave birth at the age of 5.  Unlike Mrs. Steve Pace, a lot is known about this girl.  You can read more about her here.
  • Despite being the driving force behind Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis never had children of her own, nor did she ever marry.
  • While Jarvis hated the commercialization of Mother’s Day, in fact, it is likely had it not been commercialized it would have been largely relegated to an extremely minor holiday, or disappeared altogether, as has happened to many other such holidays over the centuries.  As you look at the history of holidays, the ones that survive and become extremely popular are nearly always the ones that get commercialized. If there’s money to be made on a certain holiday, businesses will make sure that holiday is as popular as it can be and that it sticks around.
  • Today in the U.S. alone, over $4 billion are spent on flowers and other gifts for Mother’s Day.
  • If you’ve ever wondered why it is “Mother’s Day” and not “Mothers’ Day”, that is largely thanks to Jarvis who stated it should “be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.”
  • In France and Germany, early mother’s day celebrations were largely spurred by low birth rates, giving rise to the governments pushing honoring of mothers to help up the rates.  In France, they honored mothers who had a high number of children with actual awards.  For instance, in 1906, a group of mothers who had 9 children each were given the High Maternal Merit award.
  • In Germany, a similar program was pushed and eventually the Nazi party not only honored mothers who had many healthy Aryan children, but also pushed the idea that the highest honor for any mother was to have their son die in battle fighting for Germany.  As a specific measure to encourage more children, the government began awarding medals, much like France.  In this case, the “Mutterkreuz” (Mother’s Cross) medal was given on Mother’s day and at certain other times.  This had different levels with the highest level being the gold cross, for mothers who had 8 or more children.  However, as you might expect from the Nazi party pushing it, a woman could be disqualified from receiving the award if she or her children exhibited undesirable qualities like ill health, drinking problems, and even such things as “politically unreliable” or being friendly with Jews.
  • In the U.S., 4.1 million women (from 15-50) gave birth to a child in the last year and a full 81% of women 40-44 years old have had at least 1 child in their lifetime.  Interestingly, just four decades ago, 90% of women in that same age span had given birth to at least 1 child.
  • Not only is the birth rate declining, but also the average age of giving birth is going up.  For instance, even just between 2009 to 2010, the average age of a woman giving birth in the U.S. jumped from 25.2 to 25.4.
  • Only 5% of women between 15 and 44 in the U.S. have four or more children; 10% have three; and 17% have one, leaving the highest percentages locked in at two and no children.
  • The highest birth rate per woman in a U.S. state comes, not surprisingly, from Utah, where the average is 2.45 births per woman in the state.  The lowest is Rhode Island at 1.63.
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