Armed Forces Day – May 20, 2018

 

 

Armed Forces Day

Date When Celebrated : Third Saturday in May

This is simply a day to salute sharply all of the men and women in all branches of military, who protect you and our country. They can be called upon at a moment’s notice to perform a risky and perilous mission for freedom and country. They train diligently both physically and mentally, so they will be prepared to prevail in any mission they face.

Just how did it all begin? Well, each branch of the military had their own day of celebration. But, on August 31, 1949 then Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day. President Harry Truman also announced the holiday in a presidential proclamation on February 20, 1950. All branches of the military were asked to celebrate on this day and they complied on the first Armed Forces Day which was held the following year on May 20, 1950.

 

President Harry Truman signs a proclamation creating Armed Forces Day

United States President Harry Truman signs a proclamation making May 19 Armed Forces Day, April 2, 1951. At the time of this photograph, the Army had been operating the nation’s railroads for over seven months. Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, Jr., stands directly behind Truman, fourth from the left. Other notables in the image: Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall sits to the right of Truman; Gen. of the Army Omar Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stands second from the right; and Gen. J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, stands at the far right. (Photo Credit: USAMHI)

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The Story Behind Mother’s Day

by Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic

Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis  (Photograph by Bettmann, Corbis)

As Mother’s Day turns 100 this year, it’s known mostly as a time for brunches, gifts, cards, and general outpourings of love and appreciation.

But the holiday has more somber roots: It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace. And when the holiday went commercial, its greatest champion, Anna Jarvis, gave everything to fight it, dying penniless and broken in a sanitarium.

It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women’s organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis—Anna’s mother—held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination, according to historian Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865.

In the postwar years Jarvis and other women organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes. Julia Ward Howe, for one—best known as the composer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”—issued a widely read “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870, calling for women to take an active political role in promoting peace.

Around the same time, Jarvis had initiated a Mother’s Friendship Day for Union and Confederate loyalists across her state. But it was her daughter Anna who was most responsible for what we call Mother’s Day—and who would spend most of her later life fighting what it had become.

“Mother’s Day,” Not “Mothers’ Day”

Anna Jarvis never had children of her own, but the 1905 death of her own mother inspired her to organize the first Mother’s Day observances in 1908.

On May 10 of that year, families gathered at events in Jarvis’s hometown of Grafton, West Virginia—at a church now renamed the International Mother’s Day Shrine—as well as in Philadelphia, where Jarvis lived at the time, and in several other cities.

Largely through Jarvis’s efforts, Mother’s Day came to be observed in a growing number of cities and states until U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the holiday.

“For Jarvis it was a day where you’d go home to spend time with your mother and thank her for all that she did,” West Virginia Wesleyan’s Antolini, who wrote “Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Defense of Her Mother’s Day” as her Ph.D. dissertation, said in a previous interview.

“It wasn’t to celebrate all mothers. It was to celebrate the best mother you’ve ever known—your mother—as a son or a daughter.” That’s why Jarvis stressed the singular “Mother’s Day,” rather than the plural “Mothers’ Day,” Antolini explained.

But Jarvis’s success soon turned to failure, at least in her own eyes.

Storming Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis’s idea of an intimate Mother’s Day quickly became a commercial gold mine centering on the buying and giving of flowers, candies, and greeting cards—a development that deeply disturbed Jarvis. She set about dedicating herself and her sizable inheritance to returning Mother’s Day to its reverent roots.

Jarvis incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association and tried to retain some control of the holiday. She organized boycotts, threatened lawsuits, and even attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother’s Day to raise funds for charities.

“In 1923 she crashed a convention of confectioners in Philadelphia,” Antolini said.

A similar protest followed two years later. “The American War Mothers, which still exists, used Mother’s Day for fund-raising and sold carnations every year,” Antolini said. “Anna resented that, so she crashed their 1925 convention in Philadelphia and was actually arrested for disturbing the peace.”

Jarvis’s fervent attempts to reform Mother’s Day continued until at least the early 1940s. In 1948 she died at 84 in Philadelphia’s Marshall Square Sanitarium.

“This woman, who died penniless in a sanitarium in a state of dementia, was a woman who could have profited from Mother’s Day if she wanted to,” Antolini said.

“But she railed against those who did, and it cost her everything, financially and physically.”

Mother’s Day Gifts Today: Brunch, Bouquets, Bling

Today, of course, Mother’s Day continues to roll on as an engine of consumerism.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an average of $162.94 on mom this year, down from a survey high of $168.94 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $19.9 billion. The U.S. National Restaurant Association reports that Mother’s Day is the year’s most popular holiday for dining out.

As for Mother’s Day being a hallmark holiday, there’s no denying it, strictly speaking.

Hallmark Cards itself, which sold its first Mother’s Day cards in the early 1920s, reports that Mother’s Day is the number three holiday for card exchange in the United States, behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day—another apparent affront to the memory of the mother of Mother’s Day.

About 133 million Mother’s Day cards are exchanged annually, according to Hallmark. After Christmas, it’s the second most popular holiday for giving gifts.

Mother’s Day Gone Global

The holiday Anna Jarvis launched has spread around much of the world, though it’s celebrated with varying enthusiasm, in various ways, and on various days—though more often than not on the second Sunday in May.

In much of the Arab world, Mother’s Day is on March 21, which happens to loosely coincide with the start of spring. In Panama the day is celebrated on December 8, when the Catholic Church honors perhaps the most famous of mothers, the Virgin Mary. In Thailand mothers are honored on August 12, the birthday of Queen Sirikit, who has reigned since 1956 and is considered by many to be a mother to all Thais.

Britain’s centuries-old Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday of the Christian period of Lent, began as a spring Sunday designated for people to visit their area’s main cathedral, or mother church, rather than their local parish.

Mothering Sunday church travel led to family reunions, which in turn led to Britain’s version of Mother’s Day.

 

 

Phyllis’ Mother’s Mac and Cheese Recipe from Taste of Home©

I remember my mother sending me to the store for “15¢ worth of store cheese”. The butcher would cut off a slice from a gigantic round of cheese covered with a wax-coated cloth. Mother would then blend that cheese into this tasty dish. Today, the memory of Mother’s cooking is like food for my soul. — Phyllis Burkland, Portland, Oregon

 

Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine macaroni, tomatoes, onion salt, pepper and 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Pour into a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Dot with butter.
  2. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 15 minutes longer.

Nutritional Facts
1 serving (1 cup) equals 373 calories, 22 g fat (16 g saturated fat), 75 mg cholesterol, 759 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 16 g

Originally published as My Mother’s Mac and Cheese in Reminisce May/June 1993, p51

National Shrimp Day – May 9th

Here are today’s five food finds about Shrimp: The pistol shrimp can deliver an explosive attack hotter than the surface of the sun and loud enough to rupture a human ear drum. Every shrimp is actually born male, and some develop into females. Some shrimp are actually capable of glowing in the dark. Shrimp can […]

via May 9th is National Shrimp Day !🍤🍤 — Foodimentary – National Food Holidays