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Mothers Day: a Proclamation.(14 May 1916.)

During the last fifty years the American home has undergone little less than a revolution. Science and invention have wrought marvelous changes in our economic and industrial conditions. Some of these changes have a tendency to destroy the unity of home interests. Time and distance have been annihilated. Home permanence has in a large measure been destroyed. The responsibilities of the mother have been increased. She finds it impossible to keep her flock together; she finds her task inspiring and directing her children more and more difficult. She must, therefore, do her greatest work when her children are "little tots", when they are most responsive to the tenderest and wisest suggestions. American mothers recognize this necessity, and are making holy sacrifices to this end.

The mothers of every country are more important than armies and munitions of war. The mothers are the source of civilization. To our mothers we owe our patriotism, our religion, our holiest aspirations. It is especially fitting in the year nineteen sixteen that we pay tribute to the Mothers of America. Let the boys and girls and the "grown-ups", who are away from home on Mothers' Day, write a letter of gratitude to Mother. "Let those who are home meet Mother with a smile, a kiss, and a handful of flowers. Recite to her the prayer she taught you at the bedside."

Therefore, I, Woodbridge N. Ferris, ask that the people of Michigan set apart the second Sunday in May (the 14th) as Mothers' Day. In obedience to a Resolution by the United States Congress, I ask the people of Michigan to display on this day the United States flag on all government and public buildings, at their homes or other suitable places, "as a public expression of their love and reverence for the Mothers of our country". As far as possible let parents in their homes and both young and old in public meetings discuss the time of Mother with that enthusiasm and sincerity which characterizes all loyal Americans.

Source: Mothers Day Proclamation. Addresses and Writings, Box 6. Woodbridge N. Ferris Papers. University Archives. Ferris State University.