Our History

Mamie AMI
First Lady Mamie Doud Eisenhower dedicates the National Mother of the Year plaque, which hangs in the Waldorf Astoria, New York City.

The ideals of American Mothers, Inc.® began in the heart and mind of Anna Reeves Jarvis as she sought to heal the damage done to families caught in the conflict of the Civil War. By organizing a day of love and friendship across battle lines, this simple observance grew into the national holiday known as Mother’s Day for which American Mothers is the official sponsor.

The American Mothers Committee & The Golden Rule

The idea of a Mothers Committee began in 1931 when Eleanor Roosevelt announced the formation of a nation-wide program for the better observance of Mother’s Day that would help dependent mothers and needy children. Sponsored by J.C. Penney’s Golden Rule Foundation, the Golden Rule Mother’s Day Committee established a fund to promote a “Golden Rule observance of Mother’s Day.”

By 1933, committees were formed in most every state and expressed the philosophy that “the truest tribute that can be paid to Mother is to share with others the love that she so generously and often sacrificially lavished upon us.” The funds established were distributed to local hospitals, homes for the aged, orphanages, churches and other welfare agencies to be used where needed most. Click here to read more about our Golden Rule Movement.

Mother of the Year®

By 1935, the American Mothers Committee of the Golden Rule Foundation gathered New York City’s elite at the Waldorf Astoria where Sarah Delano Roosevelt, the Committee’s Honorary Chairman, presented Lucy Keen Johnson from Georgia as the first American Mother of the Year®. The recognition of an “admirable” mother was made so as to provide an inspiration to the nation that would represent a mother’s unconditional love, inner strength, and courage.

Every year since, American Mothers has named an inspirational mother from nominees across the 50 states, District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for this important honor.

Many outstanding individuals throughout America have also served as officers, leaders, members and supporters of this organization such as Sarah Delano Roosevelt, J.C. Penney, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, Norman Vincent Peale, Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, Phyllis Marriott and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Today, American Mothers remains a valuable network and voice for the 85 million mothers in America and is committed to raising awareness about issues that impact mothers and children.  It’s purpose is exclusively charitable.

Click here for a list of Past National Mothers of the Year.