Mothers: The Original Peacemakers

Hand drawn image in the likeness of Julia Howard Howe

Julia Ward Howe

So many people are unaware that the origins of Mother’s Day are deeply embedded in the peace movement predating WWI! Here are a couple great resources we’d like to share as we move towards marking this important day.

A brief history of Mother’s Day

Summarized from – Read the full article here.

Did you know that Mother’s Day is not some phony day made up by a greeting card company? It really is rooted in the peace movement!

It goes back to the horror of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. Julia Ward Howe was an American pacifist and suffragette who created a “Mothers’ Day for Peace” on June 2, 1872. She believed women bore much of the loss and hardship of war. The Women’s International Peace Association agreed, and decided to observe a day of peace.

At the same time, Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis was working to create a ”Mothers’ Friendship Day” after the American Civil War had ended. She saw it as a way for families to make peace with each other, despite their differences created by the terrible fighting.

When Jarvis passed away, her daughter Anna, inspired by her mother’s lifelong work and wishes for a Mother’s Day, pressed on to successfully have the day officially recognized by American Congress in 1913.

Women and Peace on CBC Radio

During the week of April 20th, 2015, the CBC program IDEAS featured two programs on the peace movement.  The first, “Peace in Our Time”, focused on the efforts of women’s organizations during the First World War to end that bloody conflict as it unfolded before their eyes.  These efforts bely oft held opinions that there was little opposition to that military tragedy at the time.  Indeed, such opposition was bold, creative and articulate … truly an example for our own age.
The second program, “Women and Peacemaking”, offers an equally relevant conversation, focusing on the very nature of women as peacemakers.  Is such a claim a stereotype that limits or empowers women?  Worth a listen.