Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), who wrote Battle Hymn of the Republic, was the first person to come up with the concept of a “mothers day.” In 1872, Howe, a writer, women’s rights activist, pacifist, and mother of six, suggested the concept of a “Mothers Peace Day.” The world had endured two disastrous wars: the Franco-Prussian war in Europe and the Civil War in the United States. Howe said that women did not bring their sons into the world to kill the sons of other mothers.
Julia Ward Howe proposed that Mothers Peace Day be celebrated on June 2nd. The purpose of the holiday would be to promote world peace. She wrote a proclamation in favor of such a holiday.
that of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions
decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with
carnage, for caresses and applause.
have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one
country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be
trained to injure theirs.”
our own. It says, “Disarm, disarm! The sword is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great
and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and
commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to
the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after
his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed
and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period
consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different
nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great
and general interests of peace.