Mother’s Day is without question, one of the most special days of the year. It’s a time-honored tradition of recognizing the women in our lives who raised us, taught us, dried our tears, guided us, and well, mothered us.

On the second Sunday of May, we honor those women who are our mothers. Typically we shower her with gifts, take her to a fancy dinner, make her a homemade card, or just take a gentle walk with her, but what moms want most is to be surrounded by the love of her family, and to know that the people she loves the most, love her dearly.

In the United States, Julia Ward Howe inspired the first movement toward a national observance during the Civil War. Appealing to the public for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” after witnessing the devastation left by war, Howe went on an international crusade. While her efforts never gained formal recognition for an official observance, she was acknowledged posthumously in 1988 for her achievements and her efforts for women’s rights.

In 1905, Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis successfully introduced the idea for a national holiday recognizing mothers. Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis had followed Howe’s campaign and had pursued her own volunteer efforts during the Civil War. Ann Marie died on May 9, 1905, and her daughter, Anna, missed her mother greatly. She started a dedicated letter-writing campaign to declare an official Mother’s Day. Through Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the first observance occurred on May 10, 1908.

This day, to honor Anna Jarvis’s mother, grew into a national observance until in 1911 when every state participated. Soon it was spreading internationally, and on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May.

Remember to put mom first today on this very special Mother’s Day, and use #MothersDay to share on social media.