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History of Mothers Day: What would we do without mothers? If it weren't for mothers, none of us would be here!
I thought you might enjoy to know 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.
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 today 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 half-truths existed, that these truths did not apply to every woman or to every circumstance.
What truths am I talking about? Good question.
Here are some facts to consider:
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.
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:
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.
God Bless, Shelly Morton
Tell us what you think about Catherine Marshall's speech and/or my comments.
What is it like for you to be a woman in this century? Voice your concerns and opinions here.
Whether you agree or disagree, please be polite and respect the opinions of others.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
I could not have said it any better. I love that speech on the movie. I agree with her and you (you write so eloquently). Do you mind if I quote 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.
Agree Absolutely! Not rated yet
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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