History of Mothers Day
HISTORY OF MOTHERS DAY
Mothers --- what would we do without them? Here's a little history on how this holiday began.
Almost every culture throughout history has honored the ideal of motherhood. Ancient pagan cultures honored various goddesses with special celebrations honoring the ideals of motherhood and their alleged contributions to mankind.
Insofar as the history of Mothers Day in the United States goes, almost 150 years ago, Anna Jarvis, an ordinary homemaker living in the Appalachian mountains, decided to set aside a special day to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community. She believed mothers would be the best advocates. Therefore, it was known as "Mothers Work Day."
The legend regarding the history of Mothers Day states that Anna Jarvis made comments that she hoped and prayed that someone, someday would found a national Mothers Day. She felt there were many days honoring the accomplishments of men, but none for women and mothers. After her death, Anna's daughter took over her mother's work and began a campaign to lobby politicans and prominent businessmen about her cause.
In 1914, Anna's hard work paid off. Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mothers Day as a national holiday.
And that's the History of Mothers Day in the US!
In honor of Mothers Day, the history of Mothers Day, women and mother's everywhere, I offer you the following information. It has been revealing and enlightening to me. I hope you will feel the same.
History of Mother's Day -- A Mother's Day Gift to You
The following transcript is from the 1955 movie A Man Called Peter (1955 Henry Koster Film). The movie was adapted from a book by Catherine Marshall by the same name. Catherine was the wife of the late great preacher, Dr. Peter Marshall.
The transcript below is directly from the movie. Catherine (prior to her marriage to Peter Marshall) was a college student. She and several other college students (one man and three women) were asked to accompany Dr. Peter Marshall to speak at a college event about their Christian faith and values. Dr. Marshall gives his opening address and is “booed” into silence. He asks the first young lady to come up to speak. She sees the hostile crowd, gets scared and runs off. The male football player is also unwilling to stand before his fellow students and endure possible ridicule. Dr. Marshall is about to call off the event, when Catherine speaks up and volunteers to say something to the rowdy crowd.
Dr. Marshall introduces Catherine. She climbs up onto the makeshift stage (the back of a pickup truck). She’s very pretty, so there is a lot of whistling, clapping and accolade for her femininity from the men in the audience.
This is the speech she gave in the movie:
If that’s because I’m a girl, thank you boys. And now, if you’ll let me, I’d like to talk, as a girl, to the girls here this afternoon. I know if you boys will listen, they’ll listen too. I’m just as sure that the only reason they’ve been just as rude and silly as you’ve been, is because they have the mistaken idea that you wanted them to be.
I never thought much about being a girl until two years ago when I learned from a man what a wonderful thing it is to be a woman. Until that Sunday morning, I considered myself lucky to be living in the 20th century; the century of progress and emancipation; the century when, supposedly, we women came into our own. But I’d forgotten that the emancipation of women really began with Christianity.
A very young girl received the greatest honor in history. She was chosen to be the mother of the savior of the world. And when her son grew up and began to teach his way of life, he ushered women into a new place in human relations. He accorded her a dignity she had never known before and crowned her with such glory that down through the ages she was revered, protected and loved. Men wanted to think of her as different from themselves, better, made of finer, more delicate clay. It remained for the 20th century, the century of progress, to pull her down from her throne.
She wanted equality. For 1900 years, she had not been equal. She had been superior [emphasis hers]. To stand equally with men, naturally she had to step down. Now, being equal with men, she has won all their rights and privileges; the right to get drunk, the right to swear, the right to smoke, the right to work like a man, to think like a man, to act like a man. We’ve won all this, but ought we to feel so triumphant when men no longer feel as romantic about us as they did about our grandmothers; when we’ve lost something sweet and mysterious; something as hard to describe as the haunting, wistful fragrance of violets?
Of course, these aren’t my original thoughts. They are the thoughts I heard that Sunday morning. But somehow, some thoughts of my own were born and the conclusion reached that somewhere along the line, we women got off the track.
Poets have become immortal by remembering on paper a girl’s smile. But I’ve never read a poem rhapsodizing over a girl’s giggles at a smutty joke or I’ve never heard a man brag that his sweet heart or his wife could drink just as much as he and become just as intoxicated. I’ve never heard a man say that a girl’s mouth was prettier with a cigarette hanging out of it or that her hair smelled divinely of stale tobacco.
And that’s all I have to say. I’ve never made a speech before.
[end of transcription]
Does this concept of femininity, seem foreign to you? It did to me, once upon a time.
Look at when these words were spoken. The movie was made in 1955, but the events took place approximately 10 years earlier – the 1940’s!! What “emancipation” was Catherine talking about? These events took place long before the Women’s Lib Movement (WLM) of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
So, if Catherine Marshall is speaking about the emancipation of women and women getting the raw end of the deal because they “got off the track” back in the 1940’s, what might that suggest to women in 2009 ---- we who are living in the post Women’s Lib Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s and have been shaped by those ideas?
Like most “movements,” there were some kernels of truth in the WLM manifesto. If there were no truths at all, the movement would not have gained foothold. However, let me suggest to you, that these truths were only partially true. In addition, consider that they may have actually been half-truths. Consider also that, in those instances where the truth or truths existed, that these truths did not apply to every woman or to every circumstance.
What truths am I talking about? Good question.
Was there a need to address some wrongs? Yes. Were some men guilty of not treating women fairly? Absolutely. Was there then (and is there now) an attitude among some men that women are “less than” men and should not be treated fairly? Of course. Were all men bad? No. Did all men treat their mothers, wives, sisters, daughters (or all women generally) badly or have these attitudes toward women? Absolutely not.
These attitudes, and the problems that derived from those attitudes, were not exclusively and completely universal. Many were cultural and familial in nature. They also are not exclusive to men’s attitudes toward women today. Women hold these same attitudes toward men! If you don't believe me, sit and listen to a group of women when the topic of men comes up. You'll hear the exact same attitudes and, perhaps, even the exact words.
Should women be treated fairly? Yes. Should women have had the right to vote? Of course. Should women who were single, widowed or needed to work to help support their families have received equal pay and benefits for equal work? Absolutely. Are women less than men? By no means!
A pastor once put it to me this way: God could have formed the first woman, Eve, separately from the dust of the ground in the same way He created Adam. However, God specifically chose to create Eve from a rib in Adam’s side. He and she would thus always be joined together. Why did God chose this particular part of Adam? She was not created from a bone in his head to be superior. Neither was she created from a bone in his spine so that she would have to stand behind him or prop him up. Nor, was she created from a bone in his foot to be trampled upon. Rather, God chose to create her from a rib – a bone in the side. Thus her true and rightful position is to stand beside him as an equal so that they may be one and work along side one another.
Adam had God. You might think that was all he needed. So why did God create Eve? God saw that Adam had a need that was not being filled solely with His presence. God said: "It is not good that man should be alone." Despite the fact that Adam had God, he needed someone human, similar yet different and complimentary, that he could share things with. Someone with whom he could share the great responsibilities that God had given him.
What did Adam say when he saw Eve? "At last, this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Her name shall be Eve because she will be the mother of nations." Adam recognized his need for her (notice the words "at last"). He realized she was like him and a part of him (notice the words "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh). He realized she was special, precious, made of (as Catherine Marshall put it) finer, more delicate clay.
Notice what Adam did not say "Wow! Now I have somebody I can dump on and treat badly; someone I can push around so I can feel superior; someone I can abandon when I get bored or want to move on to the next thing that excites me."
However, if you listen to the majority of women talk about men today, you would think that is exactly what men think and say. Some do, but the majority do not. For those that do, perhaps we women have given them reason to treat us that way? We women, desiring the "apple of equality" gave up being treated with honor, respect and dignity.
So why do bad attitudes and behavior exist between men and women to this day? One little word with huge implications - - - SIN.
Men and women are truly equal. They are equally sinful. They are equally in need of a Savior. They both must come to Christ, individually, to have their manhood and womanhood restored so that they can once again be one in Him and He in them so that, together, they can share the responsibilities of God's great purpose for them, standing beside one another.
As Catherine so eloquently put it, true emancipation of women came with Christ, not with the angry, men-hating, bra burning WLMer’s like Gloria Steinem and company.
Before you dismiss what I’ve said thinking that, perhaps, I’m someone who’s “too old,” “too out of step with the times,” or “too ____” (fill in the blank with anything else you care to name). Or before you think I’m someone who wants to return to some fairy tale ideal of the “Father Knows Best” or “Leave It To Beaver” icon of the American family of the 1950’s, let me share something with you.
I was born before the Women’s Lib Movement and actually saw what went on in the average homes of average Americans. I saw how most men treated most women. I saw, heard and experienced what women thought about themselves, men, their families, their faith, etc. I saw what happened before during and after the “Womens Movement.” My take on it --- We have indeed, come a long way, baby – a long way down!
Here are some facts to consider.
- Since the WLM, women work longer and harder than any group of women before them in history, including women who used to work long hours in fields to help support their families. If they’re married and/or have a family and work outside the home, they typically have two jobs – what they do to earn money and the work they do to keep their homes and families going.
- When asked if they are satisfied with their lives, women today say, to a greater degree than 100 years ago, that they are unhappy or very unhappy with their lives.
- Crimes against women and children are greater than any other time in history.
- Infanticide (and it's other name, abortion) are common.
- Families are disintegrating and fracturing so much so that any concept of a normal family life (as that term has been accepted for 2,000 plus years or more) is alien to many men, women and children today.
People, in general, are treated and treat each other more as commodities to be used, abused or discarded than as beautiful creations in God's own image.
These are just a few of the facts. There are many, many more.
You could argue that many things are better. That is an entirely subjective statement and open for debate on many levels. Even if many things are better, how were those advancements achieved and at what price? I would suggest that any so-called "advancements" were far, far too costly.
If any of these words spark an emotion of any kind and you would like to explore further, let me suggest the following resources. Check things out for yourself. You have the freedom (and the responsibility) to decide for yourself.
More information on Dr. Peter Marshall and his son, Rev. Peter Marshall, go to:
Peter Marshall Ministries
To find out more about a Biblical perspective of what it means to be a man, read: Wild At Heart: Discovering the Secrets of a Man’s Soul, by John Eldredge. Wild At Heart
To find out more about a Biblical perspective of what it means to be a woman, read: Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul, by John and Stasi Eldridge. Captivating
For information on Christianity, what it means to be a Christian or how to become one, check out these websites:
or Need Him
If you want to comment on anything I've said above, use the form below. Realize, however, that as the owner of this website, I have a responsibility to review every entry and reserve the right not to publish anything that is nasty, hateful or distasteful. That does not mean that I will not publish an opinion contrary to my own, just be respectful. I also reserve the right to comment on your comment.
May the eyes and ears of your hearts be enlightened so that you may truly hear and see and be saved.
These words are my Mothers Day gift to you.
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Thank you for publishing this important history in the timeline of being a female. I found your sight from searching for Catherine Marshall's speech in …
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Fantastic. Every school class should have to watch that movie...but in this satanic age it would be illegal.
Am weeping for the lost world.
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Wow! How refreshing to hear that someone else feels the same way I do. I'll have to check that movie. Sounds intriguing. I believe women have been …
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