Around 1870, Julia Ward Howe called for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” dedicated to the celebration of peace and the eradication of war, expressed in her “Mother’s Day Proclamation”.
Yet earlier, Ann Reeves Jarvis, known as “Mother Jarvis,” was a young Appalachian homemaker and a lifelong activist. In the mid-1800s, she organized “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” in West Virginia to combat unsanitary living conditions and teach young mothers how to safely care for their children.
During the Civil War, Mother Jarvis also organized women’s brigades, encouraging women to help without regard for which side their men had chosen. After the war, she proposed a Mothers’ Friendship Day to promote peace between former Union and Confederate families.
“I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial Mother’s Day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life,” Ann Jarvis once said. “She is entitled to it.”
After Mother Jarvis’ death, her daughter Anna started campaigning for a national day to honor all mothers. She bombarded public figures and civic organizations and succeeded.
May we unite to honor all women’s human rights, to protect Mother Earth and all our relations, and re-commit to bring peace to our divided country and divided world.
(Gylian thanks Lauren Oliver for sending this to me for Mother's Day)