Mother’s Day was created by the Fraternity Order of Eagles. This Order was founded on February 6, 1898 by 6 theater owners who had come together to discuss a musicians’ strike. After deciding how to handle the strike, they agreed to “bury the hatchet” and form an organization dubbed, “The Order of Good Things,” and later changed their name to what it is now.
The Eagles not only pushed for the founding of Mother’s Day, but also for Social Security, and to end job discrimination based on age. They provide support for medical centers across the United States and Canada, and every year they raise millions of dollars to combat heart disease and cancer, help children with disabilities, and uplift the aged and infirm.
What follows is what their website says about Mother’s Day:
On February 7, 1904, Fraternal Order of Eagles Past Grand Worthy President Frank E. Hering made a public plea for a new national holiday. Hering’s hope was to have a day dedicated to honoring mothers everywhere. A decade later, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making that dream a reality. The second Sunday in May each year was officially declared Mother’s Day.
112 years later, the achievement remains one of the most significant milestones in the history of the organization. From preparing brunch to buying cards and flowers, the spirit of Hering and the F.O.E. lives on through our actions each Mother’s Day.
While the F.O.E. continues to celebrate and take pride in the creation of Mother’s Day, many citizens are unaware of the organization’s work toward making the holiday a reality.
Hering, a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame, found inspiration for the holiday when he stumbled upon a classroom of students preparing postcards to send home to their mothers. The generous task inspired him to create a day specifically for honoring and recognizing mothers.
Serving as Grand Worthy President in 1909 and 1911, Hering used his position of influence to spread his idea for Mother’s Day. Soon the enthusiasm swelled throughout the organization and Eagles across the country were eager to see their dream become a reality.
Aeries began hosting their own celebrations to honor mothers and finally their hard work paid off as President Wilson designated May 10, 1914, the first Mother’s Day. Several organizations have stepped forward in an attempt to take credit for the holiday, but documented evidence shows that Hering – and the Eagles – were the true founders of Mother’s Day.
In 1925, the Society of War Mothers introduced Hering as “The Father of Mother’s Day” before an audience of Congressmen at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier cementing his legacy – and that of the Eagles – as the founder of Mother’s Day.