May 10, 2014 11:25 AM EDT

Mother’s Day hasn’t always been about flowers, handwritten cards and spending time with mom — it actually has a sordid past rife with conflict and controversy.

In the late 1800s to early 1900s, Mother’s Day (in its various forms) was organized for reasons ranging from lowering infant mortality, promoting peace and honoring a religious observance inspired by the mother of Anna Jarvis, who is now recognized as one of the two main founders of the holiday.

The video above details how the history of Mother’s Day took a strange turn, eventually leaving Jarvis broke and childless in a sanitarium.

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