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Mother's Day History

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day for Peace

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Julia Ward Howe also tried to establish a Mother's Day in America

  • Howe became well-known during and after the American Civil War as the author of the words to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," but was horrified by the carnage of the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War

  • in 1870, she tried to issue a manifesto for peace at international peace conferences in London and Paris (it was much like the later Mother's Day Peace Proclamation)

  • in 1872, she began promoting the idea of a "Mother's Day for Peace" to be celebrated on June 2, honoring peace, motherhood and womanhood

  • in 1873, women in 18 cities in America held a Mother's Day for Pace gathering

  • Boston celebrated the Mother's Day for Peace for at least 10 years

  • the celebrations died out when Howe was no longer paying most of the cost for them, although some celebrations continued for 30 years

  • Howe turned her efforts to working for peace and women's rights in other ways

  • a stamp was issued in honor of Julia Ward Howe in 1988 -- no mention of Mother's Day, though

Read more about Julia Ward Howe and her Mother's Day for Peace ...

Mother's Day: What You Need to Know

Text copyright 1999-2005 © Jone Johnson Lewis

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