Do you know the history of Mother's Day beyond the narrative from commercial media and consumer culture? Would it surprise you to know that Mother's Day is rooted in social justice, as a response to high infant mortality and as a protest to war?
The early advocates of Mother's Day in the United States originally envisioned it as a day of peace and from which discussions can be held to end war. Anne Jarvis of Appalachia founded Mother's Day in 1858 to promote sanitation and end infant mortality. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe issued her Mother's Day Proclamation for Peace, which called on women to end war:
“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!…
We 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 the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Check the following links for a brief history and the evolution of this annual tradition and find other resources such as the full Mother's Day Proclamation, videos, etc in exploring this activist aspect of Mother's Day.
Featured images: Pixabay (top), Giselle Lapitan (right)