2014 Press Releases

National Archives Museum Displays Mother’s Letter in Honor of 100th Anniversary of Mother’s Day
Press Release · Friday, May 9, 2014

Washington, DC

Featured Document Display Supported by Toyota

From May 9-21, 2014, the National Archives is commemorating the 100th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s Mother’s Day Proclamation with a special featured document display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Museum.

The exhibit, which will be on display in time for Mother’s Day weekend, features one of the hundreds of thousands of letters written by mothers seeking advice from the Children’s Bureau, a Federal Government office established in 1912 to promote the wellbeing of mothers and their children.

The letter, written in 1920 by Mrs. Neil Williams – the mother of three children under the age of four – asks Children’s Bureau Director Julia Lathrop how to manage “all these scientific and hygienic duties for babies,” keep up with housework, and love and nurture her children. “I love them until it hurts,” she explained, “and know that, when they are out of their babyhood, I can never forgive myself for not making more of these precious years."

The 100th anniversary of the Mother’s Day Proclamation, in which President Wilson declared the second Sunday in May a holiday for the “public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country,” is May 9.

The National Archives Museum's "Featured Documents" exhibit is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Toyota.

Located near displays of the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, the featured document exhibit is seen by more than one million visitors each year.

More information about the exhibited records’ history and free access to high resolution images [www.archives.gov/nae/visit/featured-documents.html] are available through the National Archives website.

The National Archives Museum is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Metro accessible on Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., daily. Free admission. Additional information on exhibits and programs at the National Archives Museum can be found online.

Following the Mother’s Day exhibit, the museum plans to display:

Whitman Report on Cemeteries, 1869, commemorating Memorial Day, the 1869 Whitman Report on Cemeteries, will be displayed open to an illustration of the cemetery at the site of the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. (May 22 –June 5)

G.I. Bill of Rights of 1944, passed by Congress 70 years ago, providing benefits to World War II veterans, including grants for school and college tuition, low-interest mortgages, and unemployment benefits. (June 6– July 14)

Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Congress giving President Lyndon Johnson the authority to increase U.S. involvement in the war between North and South Vietnam. (July 15 – August 7)

President Richard Nixon’s resignation letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (August 9, 1974) and President Gerald Ford’s full and unconditional pardon of Nixon (September 8, 1974). (August 8 –11)

House Passage of the Bill of Rights, celebrating its 225th anniversary. The First Congress proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution, 10 of which were ratified and are now collectively known as the Bill of Rights. (August 12 – September 10)

Documents and an artifact commemorating the 1814 burning of Washington and attack on Baltimore and Fort McHenry . During the War of 1812, British forces occupied Washington, burning the White House and other government buildings. Just weeks later the Americans held off the British at the Battle of Baltimore including a 25 hour bombardment of Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” 200 years ago. (September 11 – November 3)

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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