Anna Jarvis's Fight Against The Holiday She Invented

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Anna Jarvis's Fight Against The Holiday She Invented

Ann Reeves Jarvis once closed her Sunday school lesson with a prayer that someone would one day found a memorial day to commemorate mothers for "the matchless service she renders to humanity." Her daughter Anna Jarvis, then 12 years old, remembered that prayer for the rest of her life. Two years after her mother's death, Anna Jarvis began to lobby for a national holiday in her honor. She wrote thousands of letters to people of influence, including Teddy Roosevelt and Mark Twain, and her campaign finally succeeded when Mother's Day was officially established in 1914. That is when things got complicated: the sense of ownership she felt over the holiday led her to fight tooth and nail against anyone who would corrupt her vision. This included the floral and greeting-card industries (at one point she scrapped the white carnation as the holiday's official emblem to "do away with profiteering tradesmen"), but also charities such as the Golden Rule Foundation, a fund for needy mothers and children that she accused of commercializing Mother's Day to line its pockets. Jarvis even rallied against the US Postal Service when it issued a commemorative Mother's Day stamp. She lived as a recluse for the last decade of her life, and was eventually committed to a sanitarium where she died alone and penniless.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Anna Jarvis wanted to dedicate a holiday to her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, who dedicated her time during the Civil War working with other mothers who had lost their sons in battle. 0:12

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    Jarvis intended for people to commemorate Mother's Day by wearing a carnation, attending church, and spending the rest of the day with their mothers. She was against the commercialization of the holiday. In 1925, she was arrested for disturbing the peace at an event of the American War Mothers Association, where carnations were being sold for a fundraiser. 1:24

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    In the 1940s, Jarvis founded the International Mother's Day Association and sought to shut down flower sales by handing out celluloid buttons that people could wear instead. That year, flower sales for Mother's Day dropped by 11.45%. 4:52

What You Think You Know About Cinco De Mayo Is Wrong

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What You Think You Know About Cinco De Mayo Is Wrong

For many, the fifth day of May means one thing: Cinco de Mayo celebrations. But what exactly is the reason for this holiday? As it turns out, there are many misconceptions about this day that need to be cleared up. Firstly, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexico's independence from Spain. That anniversary happens in September. On May 5, 1862, Mexico defeated French colonizers in the battle of Puebla. This anniversary is actually not celebrated by the entire country of Mexico, as it's not a national holiday. It is, however, celebrated by a few regions in the country.

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from geobeats

Key Facts to Know

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    Cinco de mayo is not the celebration of Mexico's independence from Spain. 0:19

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    The modern Cinco de Mayo party did not originate in Mexico—it began in California. 0:55

  • 3

    Tequila should not have a worm in its bottle—mezcal does. 1:34

The Swim Coach Who Accidentally Invented Spring Break

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The Swim Coach Who Accidentally Invented Spring Break

In 1936, Colgate University's swim coach Sam Ingram took his team to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to practice during what is now known as spring break time. The city had the only Olympic size swimming pool at that time in Florida. Two years later in 1938, the city of Ft. Lauderdale caught on and decided to host 300 collegiate swim teams for a meet over spring break to help boost the local economy. The phenomenon of "spring break" was reported on for the first time in 1959 by TIME magazine.

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Key Facts to Know

  • 1

    Sam Ingram was a swim coach at Colgate University when he accidentally invented spring break in 1936. 0:19

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    The original location of spring break is Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 1:42

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    In 1986, MTV began live-broadcasting from various spring break locales. 1:57

A Full Moon On Christmas!

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A Full Moon On Christmas!

The last full moon to rise on Christmas occurred in 1977, and we won't see another one until 2034. Regardless of whether or not it appears on the holiday, the last full moon of the year has many traditional names, including the Full Cold Moon, Full Long Nights Moon, and the Moon Before Yule.

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Key Facts to Know

  • 1

    We have warm summers and cold winters because the Earth's plane of rotation is tilted relative to its orbit. 0:06

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    A new moon rises and sets around the same time as the sun and follows a similar path. 0:40

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    A full moon is only ever up at night, and behaves the way the sun does in the opposite season. 0:56

Dogs Are Celebrated All Day on Kukur Tihar In Nepal

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Dogs Are Celebrated All Day on Kukur Tihar In Nepal

The Tihar Festival is a five-day Hindu festival celebrated in Nepal. The second day of this annual fall celebration is called Kukur Tihar, and is dedicated solely to the celebration and pampering of canines for their cherished relationship with humans. On this day, dogs are decorate with colorful dyes and garlands, fed tasty treats, and police dogs are honored with special ceremonies for their services. According to Hindu belief, dogs are believed to be messengers of Lord Yamaraj, the God of Death.