MOTHERS’ DAY SPECIAL: Savy as Fuck Sue & The Mother of Mothers’ Day

So sorry for the late blog! Migraines and busy days have kept me from this. I will get the next section of The Dinner Party up tomorrow.

Thank you all!

Susan Nicol

Born: 1957      Died: Thankfully still alive

What they did: One of the best mothers

Facts:

  • When growing up she and her brother Michael got kittens for about a month named skinny and fatty they used to say skinny and fatty went to bed fatty rolled over and skinny was dead.
  • Her nickname was Susie growing up. (Now just Sue)
  • She got her first job at 15 at the state fair.
  • It lasted three days before she moved to a different vendor at the state fair and work there 2 summers in a row.
  • During the school year she had a part time job with the DNR folding pamphlets that go with boat licenses and stuffing envelopes.
  • She Has maintained friendship with friends met in grade school and high school.
  • My mom hung around an older crowd and partied a lot, she even had a fake ID!
  • She met my dad when she was 17 he would have 22. 
  • She graduated high school when she was 17 and moved out when she was 18 to an apartment.
  • She had various jobs during her late teen years, collections, factory work, then eventually got a job working for the state (which she did for 40 years!)
  • She moved into a duplex that she bought. (On her own, using money she had saved)
  • In ‘81 her older brother Michael sadly passed away.
  • It was very sudden and it was very shocking for her and scary cause at first they had no idea what happened to him that made him sick.
  • Later that same year she bought a house (the one we lived in my whole life) and moved out of the duplex but rented both areas of it until she sold it a year later. 
  • She married my dad and had my older sister in ‘85. My brother came along in ‘88 and myself in ‘91.
  • She has already paid off that house.
  • We were encouraged to try what we wanted sports for most of us until i branched out into theater.
  • Both parents were very supportive and i know they made every show i did. I know there were struggles between mental health things and just general teenager growing up i know we stressed you but no worries mom you did great!
  • She also retired at 60 which is pretty young for now a days.
  • My mom loves to travel and said her favorite trip was in 1999 when they went to hawaii with some of my dads siblings.
    • All i remember from that trip (hearing about it, no kids on this trip) is that they visited some botanical garden and the whole time they were there mom had this duck that just constantly followed her around.
  • We went to Disney a few times as i grew up and as we got older my mom wanted to take a trip with each of us individually.
  • She and my sister chose California and drove up the cost. They tried lobster and had a grand old time.
  • My brother declined a trip i suppose what teenage boy wants to go on a vacation with just his mother so he got a laptop instead.
  • When it was my turn mother and i chose the grand canyon neither of us had been before and we thought it would be fun.
  • My mom said her goal was to have her kids grow up happy, healthy, and set a good example for that. I think you excelled mother truly i do. I know we all have some quirks but we are all happy and healthy and you did set a good example.
  • She views her biggest accomplishment as started investing early by buying the duplex.
  • Lessons learned – work hard, be independent, take care of self and be financially set.
  • Quote: “poop”

Anna Jarvis

Born: May 1, 1864     Died: November 24, 1948

What they did: The Mother of Mothers Day

  • Anna was born to parents Granville and Ann Jarvis on May 1 st , 1864 in Webster, West Virginia.
  • She was the 9th of 12 children, however, 8 of her siblings died before they turned 7.
  • Anna’s mother, Ann, was a social activist who turned her loss into action. In the 1850s, she organized “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to campaign for more sanitary
    conditions which significantly contributed to the high mortality rate of children at the time.
  • Upon the outbreak of the American Civil War, Ann assembled four of her Mothers Friendship Clubs to provide care for wounded soldiers on both the Union and Confederate sides in an attempt to maintain friendship and goodwill through a bloody and divisive war.
  • After the Civil War, Ann continued her mission of peace and unity, organizing a “Mothers Friendship Day” in 1868 to encourage families who had been divided by the war, to come together.
  • Ann even remarked once, “I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mothers’ day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it.”
  • Anna remarked on her mother’s wish and made a vow. “The time and place is here and the someone is your daughter, and by the grace of God, you shall have that Mothers’ Day”
  • Anna was inspired by her mother’s work. She was even encouraged to attend college by her mother.
  • Anna attended Augusta Female Seminary in Staunton, Virginia where she received her diploma. After graduating, Anna returned home and worked in the public school system and joined in her mother’s church as an active member. They had a very close bond.
  • Anna then bounced around a bit, first working as a bank teller in Tennessee. Then, she moved to Philadelphia, PA to live with her brother, where she became the first female literary and advertising editor for Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company.
  • Throughout her travels, Anna kept up consistent correspondence with her mother, though her mother did urge her to return to her hometown.
  • In 1902, Granville, Anna’s father died. This combined with Ann’s health problems caused Anna and her brother to urge their mother to come live with them in Philadelphia.
  • Ann finally made the move in 1904.
  • After Ann moved in, Anna spent much of her time caring for her mother while her health declined. Sadly, Ann Jarvis died on May 9, 1905.
  • In 1907, two years after her mother’s death, Anna had a small gathering to commemorate her mother’s life and announced her intentions of creating a national mothers’ day.
  • On May 10, the following year, Anna held the first official observance of Mothers’ Day at her mother’s church, Andrews Methodists Episcopal Church. This church is now known as part of the International Mother’s Day Shrine.
  • Anna was one such woman who stepped into the public eye to campaign for Mothers’ Day. She wrote letters to ministers, business people, and politicians and held promotional campaigns all across the country to try and establish a national Mothers’ Day.
  • Anna found significant support from John Wanamaker of Wanamaker’s Department store and H.J. Heinz of ketchup fame.
  • Anna’s efforts were not in vain; by 1911 nearly every state celebrated Mothers’ Day and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared Mothers’ Day a national holiday.
  • While Mothers’ Day was meant to be a celebration of women’s achievements and was inspired and championed by women activists, some politicians tried to use the day to promote the idea that a woman’s role was in the home.
    • Their campaign was so successful that the name was changed from
      having the apostrophe after the s in Mothers’ to moving it before the s.
    • This was supposed to emphasize celebrating one’s own mother and her service to the home and family rather than celebrating the activism and organization of all mothers.
  • After establishing Mothers’ Day in America, Anna turned her sites to global domination and began campaigning to establish the holiday internationally. Eventually over 50 countries would adopt a version of Mothers’ Day.
  • In its early years, Mothers’ Day was celebrated by going to church, spending quality time with your mother, or writing letters to your mother. However, the tradition of buying cards, flowers, and gifts began to catch on which was great news for those industries.
  • The price for carnations would rise around Mothers’ Day which outraged Anna who decried florists as “profiteers.” She felt the commercialization detracted from the true meaning of Mothers’ Day.
  • In 1923, Anna filed a lawsuit to try and stop a Mothers’ Day festival and was arrested for disturbing the peace at a War Mothers convention where the women were selling carnations to raise money.
  • Another notable story of Anna’s protest of the holiday was when she went to a department store that was selling a Mothers’ Day salad. She ordered the salad and then threw it on the floor.
    • “This is not what I intended. I wanted a day of sentiment, not profit.”
  • In her later years, Anna would say she regretted ever creating the day and campaign against it. She became the enemy of many charities that once supported her and was thrown out of meetings in her efforts to gain back control over her holiday.
  • While many profited from Mothers’ Day, Anna did not and she had to live with her sister in her later years.
  • In 1943, Anna organized a petition to rescind Mothers’ Day but her efforts were interrupted when she was placed in the psychiatric hospital Marshall Square Sanitarium in West Chester, PA.
  • In an ironic twist of events her bills were paid by members of the floral and greeting card industries.
  • At 84 years old, Anna died in the sanitarium on November 24, 1948.

Mothers’ Day isn’t about jewelry or expensive gifts. It’s about honoring, not only the mothers, but the important women in our lives and accepting our maternal duty to improve the world around us.