May 13, 2012

The Origin of Mother’s Day.

A Mother’s Day Proclamation, by Julia Ward Howe, in 1870—a sort of manifesto—eventually became what we know today as Mother’s Day.

The origins of the day we now think of as “time to take ma out to brunch” or “time to call mama” or, at least, “better get mom a card” are worth reconsidering: Mother’s Day is rooted in a call for peace, and fair labor—for quelling war, creating fair labor laws, and encouraging women to enter public life. ~ ed.

“Written in 1870, Howe’s “Mother’s Day Proclamation” was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe’s feminist conviction that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level…” ~ Wikipedia.

The Origin of Mother’s Day: Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation. 1870.

Mother’s Day: a day for pacifying War, & fair Labor.

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of 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 out 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 Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without 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.


Mothers: that “place” is online—that time is now.

More on the origins of Mother’s Day.

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