Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is celebrated in every country in the world.

The first person to fight for an official Mother’s Day celebration in the United States was Julia Ward Howe. You may be more familiar with her name as the writer who wrote the words to the Civil War song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

Howe was born in New York City on May 27, 1819. She was active in the peace movement and the women’s suffrage movement. In 1870, she penned the Mother’s Day Proclamation. In 1872, the Mothers’ Peace Day Observance was held on the second Sunday in June and the meetings continued for several years. Her idea was widely accepted, but she was never able to get the day recognized as an official holiday. The Mothers’ Peace Day was the beginning of the Mother’s Day holiday in the United States now celebrated in May. The modern commercialized celebration of gifts, flowers and candy bears little resemblance to Howe’s original idea. Here is the Proclamation that explains, in her own powerful words, the goals of the original Mother’s Day in the United States:

Arise then….women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or tears! Say firmly: “We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” From the bosom of a devastated Earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe our dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace….each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Ceasar, but of God. In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without the limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient and the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

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