Julia Ward Howe saw it as a day celebrating pacifism, and it later became a battleground where suffragists and anti-suffragists waged war over the proper role of mothers.

by Elaine Weiss
Published in The Daily Beast, May, 12, 2018
Photo illustration by Elizabeth Brockway / The Daily Beast / Getty

Mother’s Day was originally a subversive holiday. It didn’t resemble today’s spring Sunday of hearts and flowers, forced sentiment, and pink-ribboned gifts, but was invented by political activists, suffragists, and pacifists to celebrate mothers as agents of change, and to encourage moms to mount the barricades and claim power.

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