W.Va. town where Mother’s Day began conducts online service

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GRAFTON, W.Va. (AP) — In the West Virginia town where Mother’s Day started 112 years ago, there was another first: an online-only audience due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The pews were empty Sunday as an organist played the opening hymn at the International Mother’s Day Shrine in Grafton.

The tradition began when Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her late mother on the second Sunday of every May. The first service was held in 1908 in Grafton, three years after her mother’s death.

Six years later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Built in 1873, the brick building that once was home to Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church was named a national landmark in 1992.

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