Mother's Day celebrations date back at least as far as ancient Greece, where worshipers observed a spring day in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the gods. In 17th century England, Christians celebrated "Mothering Sunday," the fourth Sunday in Lent, to honor the Virgin Mary and other faithful Moms.

In the United States, Julia Ward Howe suggested the idea of Mother's Day in 1872. Howe envisioned the holiday as being dedicated to world peace.

The first Mother's Day celebrations in the USA took place in West Virginia in 1908, at the urging of Ana Jarvis. Ana's own mother had passed away several years earlier, and it had been her dream to reunite families divided by the Civil War with a day dedicated to Mothers. The idea quickly caught on, and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday of May to be the official Mother's Day.