On Maternity

“By common consent Sunday will be observed as Mother’s Day. Because we are so constituted that we have to think and act serially, it becomes necessary to dedicate special occasions for the emphasis of many important subjects which nevertheless influence us all the life. So we set apart a day for the contemplation of motherhood on which we can give some appropriate expression to the debt we all owe to the greatest sacrifice and devotion in human experience.

“There is always danger that we shall not look at values in their proper proportions. What is common and obvious is often none the less precious. Among all the earthly blessings which have been bestowed upon us, it is difficult to find one that compares with motherhood. It is hard to imagine a greater ambition than to be what our mothers would wish us to be.

“These sentiments which we all entertain are of little value unless they are translated into action. The day can be well observed by making some contribution to maternity centers, or for the general relief of mothers, to some of the various associations engaged in these charities. None of us can give as much as our mothers gave to us.”

— Calvin Coolidge, May 8, 1931

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