Mother’s Day post card, 1916, Northern Pacific Railway. Wikimedia Commons
Did you know that 2014 is the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day, as we know it, in the U.S.? Julia Ward Howe, an American poet who also wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the beginning of the Civil War, became so appalled by the violence and destruction that she became a pacifist and called, in 1870, for all mothers to band together in peace, to stop their sons and husbands from being sent to war. Her effort temporarily (until about 1880) resulted in June 2nd being set aside for local celebrations of American mothers, and of peace.
When Howe died, although most Mother’s Day celebrations ended, a group of women in West Virginia adapted the holiday as a Mother’s Friendship Day, to re-unite those who had been driven apart by wartime politics. In 1908, Anna Jarvis, the daughter of the Mother’s Friendship Day committee leader, petitioned her mother’s church — St. Andrews Methodist Church — to establish the 2nd Sunday in May as an official, annual celebration, in honor of her mother; the church assented, presenting each mother with white carnations, Jarvis’ mother’s favorite flower, for the special service. A church in Philadelphia, where Jarvis herself was living, also adopted the holiday. The same year, the YMCA started petitioning the U.S. government to make Mother’s Day a national holiday, working with Jarvis to influence senators and other government officials. Jarvis trademarked the phrase “Mother’s Day” in 1912, to indicate that the purpose of the holiday was “for each family to honor its mother, not … all mothers of the world.” In 1912 West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother’s Day as an official holiday, and President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday in May of 1914.
A tea basket is a great Mother’s Day gift! Photo: sideshowmom, MorgueFile.com
Springtime in San Jose is a busy time for afternoon tea lovers! The weather in the month of May is some of the best during the year, with lots of sunny afternoons and cool breezes that carry the scent of the flowers that still bloom in gardens and orchards in the “Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Perfect weather for drinking tea both indoors and out! Here are some tea activities that are scheduled for the month of May:
- Titanic Survivors’ Reunion Tea and Garden Party, Saturday, May 12 at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. Hosted by the South Bay Ladies’ Tea Guild. Food will be provided; tickets cost $30 per person. Titanic-era costumes admired but not required. Gentlemen and well-behaved children welcome. For more information, contact the South Bay Ladies’ Tea Guild.
- 10th Annual Literary Tea, Saturday, May 12, 11:30 p.m. at the Barbara Lee Senior Center, 40 N. Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas. A light lunch will be provided; general admission tickets are $15 per person, or $12 for students and seniors. Historical fiction author C. W. Gortner will be the featured speaker, with harp music by Elizabeth Mier. For more information, contact Larry Voellger at 942-6960.
- A Tea Party Just For Mother, Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13 at Lisa’s Tea Treasures, 1145 Olsen Ave., San Jose (at Santana Row). Special menu is $34.95 and includes a mimosa, choice of Vanilla Floral or Butter Truffle tea, Strawberry Almond Salad, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Cucumber Mint tea sandwiches, scone with cream and jam, and Lemon Cream Cake.
- Mother’s Day Champagne Tea, Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13 at Lisa’s Tea Treasures, 1875 S. Bascom Ave. #165, Campbell. Special menu is $34.95 per person and includes a mimosa, orange juice or sparkling lemonade; choice of Earl Grey Floral, Champagne Raspberry or Boysenberry decaf teas; a Caesar salad and scone with cream and jam; apricot, pistachio and gorgonzola, cucumber mint and artichoke heart parmesan tea sandwiches; a choice of Four Cheese Basil Crepes or Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Bacon Torte; and a choice of Chocolate Violet Mousse Cake or Mixed Berry Cream Tart.
- Mother & Me Champagne Tea, Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13 at Tyme for Tea & Co., 37501 Niles Blvd., Fremont. 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. seatings, reservations required. Cost is $32 (ages 9 and above), and $26 per child age 8 and under. Call (510) 790 – 0944 for more information.
- 2012 Home Tour and Backyard Tea, Sunday, May 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Historic Peter E. Col House, 1163 Martin Avenue, San Jose. Presented by Hanchett Park Heritage Project, the event will feature a tour of the home and a backyard tea. No children under age 12. Admission (online) through May 11 is $20 per person (+ online service fees); from May 12-May 18, admission is $25 per person (+ online service fees). Check in at the event; no tickets required.
- “Time for Tea” Exhibit, Thursdays through Sundays, noon to 4 p.m., through July 1, 2012 at the Ainsley House and Gardens, 300 Grant St., Campbell. Afternoon tea in the Carriage House is available before each tour; tea and museum admission is $25 per person, and reservations are required. Call Karen Lange at (408) 866 – 2758 to make a reservation or for more information. Museum admission (without afternoon tea) is $6 (adults), $4 (seniors), and $2.50 (youth ages 7 to 17).
Satori Tea Bar in San Pedro Square also has a seasonal tea menu, but you’ll have to go down to the shop to see what’s on it, because the individual items aren’t listed on the website. Of course, you could put together your own spring tea at home or at a park or garden in San Jose, with treats from your tea party pantry, perhaps a tea cocktail, chocolate, and other goodies.
Copyright 2012, Elizabeth Urbach.
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For more information:
“5 Mother’s Day tea events in San Jose”
“Another tea cocktail for the horse-racing fans!”
“Chocolate and tea: the perfect match?”
“Now is the time for garden parties and picnics in San Jose”
“Birthday gift ideas for the San Jose tea lover”
“Review: Lisa’s Tea Treasures – Campbell location”
“Tea 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?”
“Take your tea into one of San Jose’s gardens”
“Review: the Royal Wedding tea from Lisa’s Tea Treasures”
“5 gifts you can make with tea”
“Review: afternoon tea at Satori Tea Bar”
“Cinco de Mayo in San Jose is a good time for tea.”
“It’s Derby Day: why not have a Derby Day tea while you watch the race?”
“Mother’s Day Tea Party Ideas” from Country Living magazine