You probably already know that May 12th is Mother’s Day. But what you may not know is how the holiday got started. Who’s the youngest mother in history? What’s the record for giving birth? Check out the answers to these questions, plus some special Mother’s Day gift ideas from your friends at The Homestead.
Considering the fact that mothers give us life, we should probably be thanking them everyday. Instead, we have a specific day for making mom feel special. Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation that officially established a national holiday to celebrate America's mothers in 1914. But according to mothersdaycelebration.com, the website of all things Mothers Day, the holiday’s biggest champion in America was, surprisingly, a woman who never married and never had kids.
Inspired by the charity work of her mother, Anna Jarvis (born in West Virginia in 1864) was inspired from childhood to one day establish a national holiday honoring all mothers. After a memorial she held for her mother in 1908, Jarvis worked tirelessly toward her goal until, by 1911, Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. President Wilson made it official three years later when he signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
Jarvis eventually became soured by the commercialization of the holiday. By her own words, she despised candy and printed greeting cards—“A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”—and believed the day was one for reflection and quiet prayer by families, thanking God for all that mothers had done.
Here’s four more bits of “mothering” trivia that may surprise you:
The youngest mother in history is Lina Medina, who at five years and seven months delivered a 6½-pound boy by cesarean section in Lima,Peru, in 1939. The child was raised as her brother and only discovered that Lina was his mother when he was 10.
Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara is the oldest verified mother; she was aged 66 years 358 days when she gave birth to twins in 2006. The children were conceived through IVF with donor eggs. The oldest verified mother to conceive naturally is Dawn Brooke, who conceived a son at the age of 58 years in 1996.
Jayne Bleackley holds the record for the shortest interval between two children born in separate confinements. She gave birth to Joseph Robert on September 3, 1999, and Annie Jessica Joyce on March 30, 2000. The babies were born 208 days apart.
Record Number of Children
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782) of Shuya,Russia. Between 1725 and 1765, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. All but 2 of these children survived infancy.