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. First organized in 1933 as a division of J.C. Penny’s Golden Rule Foundation, American Mothers embraced all faiths and recognized the important role of the mother in the home, the community, the nation, and the world. Armed with the mission of promoting Mother’s Day and recognizing outstanding mothers, the first National Mother of the Year ® was named by Honorary Chairman, Sarah Delano Roosevelt in 1935 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Every year since then, American Mothers has selected a remarkable mother from nominees among the 50 states, District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for this important honor. There is a Hall of Fame plaque located in the south lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (former home of American Mothers) that lists every National Mother of the Year ® since 1935.
Incorporated under the laws of New York in 1950, American Mothers became an independent, non-profit organization in 1954. However, it was under the leadership of American Mothers Honorary Chairman, Mamie Eisenhower, that a strong presence at the United Nations was established. American Mothers continues to be recognized as a non-governmental organization at the United Nations and is currently working on relevant issues with the Commission on the Status of Women. Many outstanding individuals throughout America have served as officers, leaders, members, and supporters of this organization such as Sarah Delano Roosevelt, J.C. Penny, Norman Vincent Peale, Mamie Eisenhower, Phyllis Marriott, Lindy Boggs, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is an inter-faith, non-political, non-profit organization that continues to recognize the invaluable contribution mothers make to the future success and happiness of children and society. Its purpose is exclusively charitable. The national headquarters is located in Washington D.C.