Mother's Day is a day set aside for each family to honor its mother, and is observed in different ways all over the world. Historians believe that the ancient Greeks and Romans first celebrated a form of the holiday, which back then was a festival for their respective mother goddesses, but Mother's Day as we know it first started during the Civil War.
In 1858, a young wife named Ann Jarvis began a tradition she called "Mother's Work Days" as a way to force her Union and Confederate neighbors to work together, if only for one day. After Ann died in 1905 her daughter, Anna, continued the holiday in her own way in 1907, she passed out 500 white carnations at her church (one flower for every mother in the congregation!), and the idea of a holiday celebrating mothers spread throughout the United States.
In 1914, Congress decided that the second Sunday in May would officially be declared Mother's Day and, on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made a speech observing the first national Mother's Day, in honor of those mothers who had lost sons at war.