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Home > Blog > Mother's Day Redux
Out of Our Minds
Sunday, May 09, 2004 10:03 PM
Mother's Day Redux
Kevin Salwen on Life

OK, I'm a little tired of it. Can we stop calling Mother's Day a Hallmark Holiday? Mother's Day actually originated in 1872, when Julia Ward Howe (the lyricist for the Battle Hymn of the Republic) decided there should be a day to celebrate peace and motherhood. (That was, incidentally, 38 years before J.C. Hall created his company.)

Ms. Howe's original proclamation for Mother's Day was an interesting ode to peace, btw.


Mother's Day Proclamation\nby Julia Ward Howe \n \nArise then...women of this day!\nArise, all women who have hearts!\nWhether your baptism be of water or of tears!\nSay firmly:\n'We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,\nOur husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,\nFor caresses and applause.\nOur sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn\nAll that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.\nWe, the women of one country,\nWill be too tender of those of another country\nTo allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.' \nFrom the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with\nOur own. It says: 'Disarm! Disarm!\nThe sword of murder is not the balance of justice.'\nBlood does not wipe our dishonor,\nNor violence indicate possession.\nAs men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil \nAt the summons of war,\nLet women now leave all that may be left of home\nFor a great and earnest day of counsel.\nLet them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.\nLet them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means\nWhereby the great human family can live in peace...\nEach bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,\nBut of God -\nIn the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask\nThat a general congress of women without limit of nationality,\nMay be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient\nAnd the earliest period consistent with its objects,\nTo promote the alliance of the different nationalities,\nThe amicable settlement of international questions,\nThe great and general interests of peace.


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