WASHINGTON, DC – To honor West Virginia’s historic role in creating Mother’s Day a century ago, Senator Jay Rockefeller has reintroduced legislation, the Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, which will mint commemorative coins that not only recognize the important role of women in our community, but also help to fund scientific research into cancer and brittle bone disease.
“Mothers make differences – large and small – in the lives of their children and their families every day,” Rockefeller said. “This legislation is meant to be a tribute to all that mothers do – in West Virginia and across the nation.”
The legislation would require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins commemorating the centennial of the establishment of Mother’s Day in West Virginia. Proceeds from the sale of these coins would help the fight against breast cancer and osteoporosis by benefiting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Over one hundred years ago, Anna Jarvis of Grafton, W.Va,, honored her recently departed mother’s life by passing out white carnations. Anna’s simple act of personal commemoration in May 1908 grew year after year. Just two years later in 1910, the State of West Virginia recognized Grafton’s efforts and established an official Mother’s Day. The first state to do so, West Virginia set a precedent that many soon followed. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother’s Day.
“What started out as a tribute from a West Virginia daughter to her mother, is now a nationally and internationally recognized holiday,” Rockefeller said. “I hope that Mother’s Day coins can become a meaningful gift and part of our family celebrations.”
Senator Robert Byrd is an original co-sponsor of Rockefeller’s Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act which is a Senate companion bill to legislation introduced last year by Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito in the House of Representatives. Other Senate co-sponsors include Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), Mark Begich (D-AK), Ben Nelson (D-FL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Thune (R-SD), and Carl Levin (D-MI).