Mother's Day as we celebrate it today is filled with flowers, presents, and elaborate brunches. But when it was founded 100 years ago, it was supposed to be a day of reflection, not buying things.
As National Geographic reports, in 1908, Anna Jarvis was spurred to action by the death of her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, a women's group organizer. She decided to start the first Mother's Day observances in West Virginia, Philadelphia, and other locations. Word spread across the United States, and as more and more cities began to celebrate, President Woodrow Wilson set the second Sunday in May aside for Mother's Day.
Jarvis stressed that the day was "Mother's Day," not "Mothers' Day," because "it wasn't to celebrate all mothers," explains Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College. "It was to celebrate the best mother you've ever known — your mother — as a son or a daughter." It didn't take long for the commercialization to happen, and Jarvis was upset by the holiday shifting toward material objects instead of sincere affection. She used her inheritance to fight against the new way of celebrating, even crashing a confectioners conference and organizing boycotts.
It was to no avail. Jarvis died in 1948 at the age of 84 in Philadelphia's Marshall Square Sanitarium, not really having changed anything. "This woman, who died penniless in a sanitarium in a state of dementia, was a woman who could have profited from Mother's Day if she wanted to," Antolini says. "But she railed against those who did, and it cost her everything, financially and physically." Now, try not to feel guilty as you finish that box of chocolates. Catherine Garcia
London is poised to welcome its first-ever Muslim mayor to office Friday. While the votes are still being counted from England's "Super Thursday" races, Labour Party candidate Sadiq Khan is currently projected to win the contest. Khan, the son of a Pakistani bus driver and seamstress, has 44 percent of the vote, while the Conservative Party's Zac Goldsmith, son of a billionaire financier, has 35 percent.
Khan's win would offer a powerful voice to Britain's Pakistani community, as well as a larger challenge to the increasingly prevalent anti-Muslim rhetoric in the West. Final results are expected to be announced later Friday. Becca Stanek
On Thursday, Donald Trump said that as president, he might seek to reduce the national debt by convincing creditors to accept less than a full payment. "I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal," Trump said, in comments that the The New York Times claimed "have no modern precedent" coming from the mouth of a major presidential candidate. "If the economy was good, it was good. So, therefore, you can't lose," Trump continued.
Experts have dismissed the idea that creditors would accept anything less than 100 cents on the dollar, no matter how good a businessman Trump might be. In fact, it might be because he's a businessman that Trump thinks the scheme could actually work:
Repurchasing debt is a fairly common tactic in the corporate world, but it only works if the debt is trading at a discount. If creditors think they are going to get 80 cents for every dollar they are owed, they may be overjoyed to get 90 cents. Mr. Trump's companies had sometimes been able to retire debt at a discount because creditors feared they might default.
But Mr. Trump's statement might show the limits of translating his business acumen into the world of government finance. The United States simply cannot pursue a similar strategy. The government runs an annual deficit, so it must borrow to retire existing debt. Any measures that would reduce the value of the existing debt, making it cheaper to repurchase, would increase the cost of issuing new debt. Such a threat also could undermine the stability of global financial markets. [The New York Times]
What's more, history shows that spooking investors away from taking a chance on relatively safe Treasury securities ends up costing taxpayers an arm and a leg. Read more about Trump's unprecedented plan — and what economists have said against it — in The New York Times. Jeva Lange
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) penned a letter to Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Friday, accusing her of tipping the convention in Hillary Clinton's favor. Sanders says that out of the 45 names he submitted to serve on Democratic National Convention committees, Wasserman Schultz only appointed three, and filled the committees mostly with Clinton supporters:
I believe the composition of the standing committees must reflect the relative support that has been received by both campaigns. That was why I was so disappointed to learn that of the over 40 people our campaign submitted at your request, you chose to select only three of my recommendations for the three standing committees. Moreover, you did not assign even one of the people submitted by our campaign to the very important Rules Committee of the Democratic National Convention. [Bernie Sanders]
Sanders also wrote that if the issue was not resolved, he would have his delegates move to change the party platform and the convention rules. The DNC quickly responded, assuring Sanders that both candidates would be fairly represented at the July convention. "Because the Party’s platform is a statement of our values, the DNC is committed to an open, inclusive, and representative process," the DNC said in a statement. "Both of our campaigns will be represented on the Drafting Committee, and just as we did in 2008 and 2012, the public will have opportunities to participate." Becca Stanek
Many Latinos are offended by what they believe were Hillary Clinton's unsubtle attempts to win them over in East Los Angeles on Thursday, when the former secretary of state visited the historically Mexican-American neighborhood to host a Cinco de Mayo rally — and brought an eight-piece mariachi band with her.
Clinton's 13-minute speech on immigration was interrupted by six different protesters inside the building, Fusion reports; outside, more than 1,000 protesters tensely eyed dozens of police in riot gear and on horses. "We only matter when it's Cinco de Mayo," one protester's sign read.
— Mujeres de Maiz (@MujeresdeMaiz) May 6, 2016
Herbert Siguenza said he was at the protest because he "couldn't believe Clinton was in East L.A. on Cinco de Mayo. The Hispanic pandering is obvious." Another protester started yelling during Clinton's speech, holding up a sign with a quote from 2014, when Clinton said unaccompanied minors should not be allowed to stay in the States. Clinton has since reversed her stance to say minors would need legal representation to stay in the country.
"I was nervous, but then I saw the mariachis and it made me angrier. She was pandering," the protester, Jasmin Pacheco, told Fusion. Jeva Lange
Following the weakest job report in seven months, President Obama spoke to the press Friday about the economy and publicly called for Congress to raise the minimum wage.
"To reward some of the hardest working people in America, Congress should raise the minimum wage," Obama said, pointing out that by raising paychecks, people would also spend more and boost business.
Obama further asked Congress to "pass smart new trade agreements" to crack down on foreign competition as well as reform the tax code by closing wasteful loopholes. In addition for his call for action, Obama also explained the positives to the job report, which you can watch below. Jeva Lange
— CNN (@CNN) May 6, 2016
Justin Timberlake dropped his first single since 2013 at midnight Friday. Already an early contender for song of the summer, the pop star's aptly titled "Can't Stop the Feeling" is irresistibly upbeat. It was released with a first-look video, featuring stars Gwen Stefani, Anna Kendrick, and James Corden. Have a listen:
The stars and the song are set to appear in the upcoming DreamWorks animated feature Trolls, which hits theaters Nov. 4. Becca Stanek
Britain's Natural Environmental Research Council made a fateful mistake by allowing the internet to vote on a name for its new $287 million research vessel. On Friday, the Ministry officially vetoed the wishes of the 124,000 people who voted for the winning name, "Boaty McBoatface," and instead choose a more "suitable" name: "David Attenborough," a much duller option in honor of the famous naturalist.
But in an attempt to soften the blow, the Research Council announced they weren't scrapping the winning name entirely, The New York Times reports. "We're ensuring that the Boaty name lives on through the sub-sea vehicle that will support the research crew," Science Minister Jo Johnson said.
There is one glaring problem with that plan, however:
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) May 6, 2016
Bon voyage, Boaty. Jeva Lange