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History of Mother’s Day

history, Uncategorized

Millions of us celebrate what at first glance would seem to be an apolitical, sentimental holiday.  Mothers Day.  Yet few people realize that Mother’s Day in the USA traces a key part of its history to a pacifist and feminist named Julia Ward Howe.   Her “Mother’s Day Proclamation” was a strong statement about war and feminism.

Julia Ward Howe was born in 1819 and died in 1910.  She was most famous as the author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.  Howe was also prominent in the abolitionist movement, as a poet, and as an American social activist who fought for universal suffrage and women’s rights among other causes of her time.   Howe met with Abraham Lincoln in 1861.
However it was not Howe who brought Mothers Day into existence – that took a presidential proclamation by Woodrow Wilson after a lobbying campaign by the daughter of Ann Jarvis, Anna Jarvis,  that led to an official Mothers Day in 1914.
A few years after Howe’s proclamation, Anne Jarvis developed “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” that worked to improve health conditions in the USA.  It was not until some time after her death that daughter Anna succeeded in getting an official Mothers Day Proclamation.  It is reported that by the 1920s Anna was already disappointed with the commercialization of Mothers Day.

Mother’s Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the 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 solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace 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.


More about Julia Ward Howe at Wikipedia

History of Concord, Mass


This is an adaptation of the article “History of Concord, Massachusetts” over at our sister website “US History“.   Both articles have the same author.

Concord Mass traces its beginnings to 1635.

In Concord the most important annual “independence day” event is not July 4th.  Rather, in Concord their big parade is in April, following the reenactment of the battle for the Concord North Bridge. The North Bridge is now part of the National Park and is often considered the starting point of the Revolutionary War.

Lexingtonians from Lexington, MA a short few miles away will often insist that it is Lexington Green where colonial Americans gathered earlier in the day to challenge the British soldiers.   For them the starting point of the Revolutionary War is not Concord.

Historians generally note both events, suggesting that both events have enormous symbolic significance as setting the stage for the war to come and the eventual independence of the American states from England.

North Bridge’s fame stems partly from the poem written and read by Ralph Waldo Emerson at a Concord Bridge memorial years later where he called the bridge site the place where the “shot heard ’round the world” was fired as the colonials challenged the British for American Independence. is a local history site from Concord and they have an excellent list of sites important in the History of the town.  Here’s a summary with some of my personal experiences noted:

The Bullet Hole House on Monument Street still has the hole from a bullet fired during the battle at the North Bridge. Please respect the folks who live in the houses while viewing all of Concord’s historical homes.

Colonial Inn, earliest part built 1716 (Monument Square)

The Concord Museum is home to the Paul Revere lantern of “One if by land, two if by sea” fame, the best Henry David Thoreau collection, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Study. Don’t miss the “Exploring Concord” film. Admission fee is low and well worth it – this is an excellent museum of early Americana. Location: Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Rd, Concord.

The Ralph Waldo Emerson House was Emerson’s home from 1835-1882. There is an excellent tour of the home and the history of this remarkable Massachusetts family. More about Emerson’s writing

First Parish in Concord was the site of the first and second Provincial Congresses of 1774. (Lexington Rd)

Grapevine Cottage, home of developer of the Concord Grape, Ephraim Bull (Lexington Rd)

Meriam’s Corner saw a skirmish between Minutemen and British troops retreating towards Boston on April 19, 1775. Location: Lexington Rd at Old Bedford Rd.

Minute Man National Historical Park, is an absolute “must see” area for anyone interested in US Colonial History. The Park includes the Old North Bridge and famous “Minuteman” statue. In April of each year hundreds of historical reenactors gather, dressed in British and Colonial garb, and fight the early battles of the American Revolutionary War. In the evening during the annual Concord “Patriot Days” festival candlelight tours of the park showcase some of the characters, homes, and activity during that time. Reservations are required for the candlelight fascinating tours – contact the National Park service for more information.

Old Hill Burying Ground: Colonial families and Revolutionary soldiers buried here. Location:
Lexington Rd at Monument Square.

The Old Manse, was the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Rev. William Emerson, the grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Hawthorne on the Old Manse . Location: Monument Street next to Minute Man National Historical Park. Wikipedia entry about the Old Manse and it’s role in the History of Concord The_Old_Manse.

Orchard House is another superb local tour focused on the colonial history of Concord. Orchard house was the the home of the Bronson Alcott family, including Louisa May Alcott, from 1858-1877. This was the house described in Lousia May’s “LITTLE WOMEN”. Location: 399 Lexington Rd.

Sleepy Hollow Cemetary, with “Author’s Ridge”, is the final resting place for many of Concord’s finest and most influential early citizens including Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Bronson Alcot. Note the Melvin Memorial by famous sculptor Daniel Chester French. From a page devoted to the famous and their gravesites, several in Sleepy Hollow are described and pictured here. (Bedford Street/Court Lane near the town center)

Along with other “must sees” in the history of Concord, you’ll want to visit the famous Walden Pond, now a state park complete with a recreation of the tiny cabin where Thoreau lived and worked during some of his time in this area. Walden Pond is a few miles from downtown Concord, and the site of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin and the source of much of his inspiration for the book “Walden.” Route 126 near Route 2.

The Wayside was home to the Hawthorns, Alcotts, and later author Margaret Sidney who wrote “The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew”. Location: 455 Lexington Road.

Wright’s Tavern on Monument Square was built in 1747. The plaque on the front reads “Here met the committees of the PROVINCIAL CONGRESS on the eve of the Revolution while the larger body sat in the MEETING HOUSE close by. Headquarters of the Minutemen in the early morning of April 19, 1775. Later that day Headquarters of the British under command of Colonel Smith and Major Pitcairn”.

Pictures of Concord

Abbottābad, Pakistan


As the location of the death of international terrorist Osama Bin Laden, The city of Abbottābad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan now holds a unique and perhaps infamous position in the travel and history community.    Surprisingly, Abbottabad is already a popular Pakistan travel destination, though it will clearly rise from obscurity among people in the USA to international prominence as a the final hiding place of one of the most elusive and sought after people in all of history.

Osama Bin Laden was the architect of the September 11 attacks on the US World Trade Center and activity of international terrorists for many years.

Map of Abbottabad, Pakistan:


Abbottabad has been a crossroads of tourism since the regions British Colonial period. The Imperial Gazetteer of India notes that Abbottaba is “picturesquely situated at the southern corner of the Rash (Orash) plain, 4,120 feet (1,260 m) above the sea”.

The Karakoram Highway between Pakistan and China – the world’s highest paved major road is a major attraction of the region, mostly thanks to views of the incomparable Karakoram Mountain range – the best known international attraction in this part of Pakistan.

Replica of Statue of Liberty at New York, New York Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas!


The Replica of the Statue of Liberty at the New York, New York Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A photo of this replica looked so much like the real statue that the Post Office used that photo to create a new stamp featuring the Statue of Liberty.

The Las Vegas Lady Liberty is newer, with no streaks and slightly different eyes than the authentic Statue of Liberty in New York City, New York.

Oregon Coast – Brookings, Oregon


Winter on the Oregon Coast is hard to beat for beautiful scenery, beachcombing, and my favorite pastime which is “storm watching” where the surf pounds the shore and the magnificent waves crash over the rocky coastline. Last month was a quiet time on the Oregon Coast and I took this shot at Lone Ranch Beach

Bangkok Thailand BKK Airport


Bangkok Thailand BKK Airport

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport BKK is a key transportation hub for SE Asia and one of the world’s newer major airports. Much like Beijing Airport in China, BKK offers a massive, grand architecture with some beautiful interior design elements such as statues and appealing storefronts.

Bangkok Airport BKK


Pattaya to Bangkok Airport 030

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

As is often the case traveling west to east, re-entry into the time zone takes a bit of a toll so I have not blogged here for some time. However soon we’ll begin a 30+ part day by day summary of the amazing trip to Southeast Asia, from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi to Halong Bay to Danang and Hue, then over to Bangkok and Pattaya Thailand, back to Vietnam, and home to Oregon, complete with the Tsunami Alerts along the Oregon Coast over the past few days.

Baht Bus, Pattaya, Thailand 062


Baht Bus, Pattaya, Thailand 062

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Some of the tourist areas in Thailand, especially here in Pattaya, use a silver service taxi service system called the “Baht Bus” to efficiently transport locals and tourists around the busiest parts of the city. Pattaya has some 700 Baht busses that drive around in somewhat consistent patterns. You hop on and off and pay a fare of 10 baht for most trips, though there appears to be some confusion about the fares if you talk to the driver and ask them to go “off route”. Based on a bit of online research it seems to me that you are expected to pay a lot more for the service if you negotiate a ride with the driver, and for that reason you generally should just get a good map and hop on and off to avoid hassles. Drivers seem to try to upsell the fare as soon as you talk to them, leading to more confusion. However on balance this is a cheap, fun, effective way to travel so use it and enjoy!

Bangkok, Thailand Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Wat Po.


Wat Po in Bangkok is just south of the Grand Palace. Here, at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, you find the world’s largest Buddha statue in this unusual position.

Wat Po has also been a center for the study of traditional therapeutic Thai Massage for centuries, and students here still offer traditional massage to temple visitors for a modest fee.

Phong Nha-Ke Ban National Park, Vietnam. Caves 088


Phong Nha-Ke Ban National Park, in Vietnam is home to some of the world’s most extensive cave systems. Slender motorboats ferry visitors a few miles along the river and into the namesake cave of the park – Phong Nha Cave. Unlike the cave we visited at Halong Bay, Phong Nha feels active and alive, and the formations are both huge and spectacular.

Although not yet open to the public, a new cave system found at Phong Nha in 1991 by a local man is the world’s largest as documented by a team of Vietnamese and English cavers.

Son Doong is five times larger than the huge Phong Nha cave with a chamber that is over five kilometers in length, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide. This makes Son Doong the world’s largest cave, surpassing in size “Deer Cave” in Malaysia.

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