The Real History Behind Mother’s Day

Time and time again, a mother proves herself to be a great blessing to those around her. Sometimes, it takes a lot of sacrifice, as shown to us by a mother who chose to forgo cancer treatment to save her baby. Sometimes, it can be in the seemingly little things, like this mom’s viral post on social media promoting depression awareness.

Other times, a mother shares her kindness to people not even her real children, as in the case of this woman donating 5,000 pints of breast milk to gay couples and parents of premature babies, this woman adopting her former student who has been in the foster system since he was nine, or even this group of stay-at-home female doctors providing online consultations to the poor.

Mother’s Day is a tribute to people like them, for sure. But beyond the flowers, fancy gifts in pastel wrapping paper, and delightful brunches, the real history behind the holiday has a lot more to do with peace activism and anti-war sentiments.

A woman named Anna Jarvis started a campaign for an official holiday honoring mothers in 1905, the year her own mother died . . . Over the next few years, Jarvis pushed to have the holiday officially recognized . . . Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making Mother’s Day an official holiday, to take place the second Sunday of May.

Anna Jarvis put Mother’s Day on the calendar as a day dedicated to expressing love and gratitude to mothers, acknowledging the sacrifices women make for their children.

If you’ve ever experienced confusion on where the apostrophe falls, don’t worry. I think all of us have. However, even in the 1900s, Anna Jarvis was determined to make it a singular possessive, with the apostrophe coming before the s. She believed that each mother in each family has to be recognized, and so, each mother deserves to feel like it’s her own day.

But again, like I’ve teased earlier, the history of Mother’s Day has even deeper roots. Where did Anna Jarvis get the idea to push for her agenda? That’s right — the answer, of course, is her own mom.

[Ann Reeves Jarvis] played an important role uniting women for good causes. [She] cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the field during the Civil War, and in its aftermath she organized a “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” the goal of which was to foster reconciliation between former Union and Confederate soldiers by having them come together, along with mothers from both sides.

In an attempt to stop the violence brought upon by the American Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis wanted to rally mothers. Her entire life was spent promoting peace and childcare, especially in the midst of war. No wonder her daughter wanted to pay tribute to motherhood.

Years later, daughter Anna Jarvis lobbied against the commercialization of the holiday. She thought that the whole point of Mother’s Day was defeated by how florists, card-makers, and other businesses profit so much from it. And I agree, though I won’t protest the existence of the holiday itself. This Mother’s Day, we might want to look beyond the fancy-shmancy stuff in shops and restaurants. Perhaps we might also want to recognize the day’s roots in women’s activism, and celebrate some recent gender milestones.

Then again, I think it’s okay to spoil your mom just a little. After all, we should remember where the apostrophe falls. This Mother’s Day, it’s okay to get your mom carnations if she loves them. It’s okay to have afternoon tea with pretty pastries. Just don’t forget what this day really is about: her.

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Dinosaur Remains Uncovered In Egypt

The age of dinosaurs has long come and gone, yet miraculously, their bones have remained intact. Millions of years later, paleontologists have uncovered major finds such as pterosaur eggs in China. Nobody thus far has their sight set on a real-life Jurassic Park, but the discoveries keep on coming. Smack dab in the core of the Sahara desert, the Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology has dug up the perfectly preserved fossils of the Mansourasaurus shahinae.

Mansourasaurus helps us address long standing questions about Africa’s fossil record and palaeobiology – what animals were living there, and to what other species were these animals most closely related?”

The talk of the town 80 million years prior, the herbivore was roughly the length of a London double-decker bus. The creature likely donned a long neck, much like the well-known brontosaurus. The discovery is a milestone for researchers in Africa, where it is difficult to uncover dinosaur residue.

“This was the Holy Grail – a well-preserved dinosaur from the end of the Age of Dinosaurs in Africa – that we paleontologists had been searching for for a long, long time.”

The Mansoura team is confident it’ll stumble into even grander findings. With a landmark achievement like this, I wouldn’t be too surprised!

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Archaeologists Discover Ancient Roman Wreckage

Lately, discoveries of Earth-sized planets and the possibility of life on Saturn’s moons have been otherworldly. While most of today’s research focuses on what can be, some experts are still dissecting what has been. On a mission to study lost artifacts, an Egyptian archaeology team uncovered three wrecks from the Roman Empire. The breakthrough will bring greater insight regarding the era of Rome’s first emperor.

[Divers] found a head sculpture carved into crystal, remains of pottery and large pieces of wood, potentially from the ship itself.

The discoveries were made off the coast of the northern city of Alexandria, specifically in its Abu Qir Bay.

Apparently a goldmine for hidden wonders, the bay might still be lodging a fourth shipwreck. Arab uprisings have made Egypt vulnerable to mass looting, leaving museums susceptible to robberies. Joint efforts have since eased the pressure on archaeologists.

The discoveries were made as a result of the work of a joint mission from the Ministry of Antiquities’ Underwater Archaeology Department and the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology.

Both groups will continue to send divers into the harbor next year — truly a blast from the past!

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Boy Discovers 1-Million-Year-Old Fossil

Hiking is always an exciting activity. You discover a lot of things — about yourself, about nature, and if you’re this young boy, occasionally a 1-million-year-old fossil. The bones were from a Stegomastodon, or prehistoric elephant.

“I was running farther up, and I tripped on part of the tusk,” Jude Sparks, who was hiking in the desert with his parents and brothers, said. “My face landed next to the bottom jaw. I looked farther up, and there was another tusk.”

Talk about sheer coincidence! The family immediately contacted the New Mexico State University, who confirmed that the skull was only one of two complete fossils. The skull measured to weigh nearly a ton.

“I have every hope and expectation that this specimen will ultimately end up on exhibit and this little boy will be able to show his friends, and even his own children, ‘Look what I found right here in Las Cruces,'” [said NMSU professor Peter Houde].

As for the rest of the animal’s remains, there’s a chance they are hiding nearby. “It’s quite possible it was preserved.”

While the skull was held together by surrounding sediment, it’s possible the rest of the skeleton eroded away. Whatever the case, Jude now has an incredible story to tell.

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